Paced by a final-round score of 69 and first-place individual finish by Mats Ege, East Tennessee State (-24) notched a six-stroke victory over Virginia to win the 2023 General Hackler Championship Tuesday at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club.
Three ETSU players posted 54-hole tallies under par to pace the Buccaneers, led by Ege (203), Algot Kleen (209) and Archie Davies (213). Ege’s 67-67-69 performance earned him co-champion status on the individual leaderboard along with Virginia’s Ben James (68-65-70), with each finishing one stroke ahead of North Carolina State’s Michael LaSasso.
Auburn finished third overall (-15), followed by the Louisville and Kent State squads that tied for fourth at 14-under par.
For four of the General Hackler Championship’s top 10 individual finishers this year, this week marked a successful return to the Grand Strand after having competed here in one of junior golf’s premier showcase events. Virginia’s James won the 2022 Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship at TPC Myrtle Beach; ETSU’s Kleen (7th overall individual in this year’s Hackler) finished T-14 in the 2020 Dustin Johnson World Junior; and Auburn’s Brendan Valdes (T-8 individual in this year’s Hackler) posted a runner-up finish in the 2021 Dustin Johnson World Junior.
North Carolina State’s LaSasso (3rd overall in this year’s Hackler) also competed in the 2022 Dustin Johnson World Junior.
Hosted by Coastal Carolina University, the General Hackler Championship each year brings several of college golf’s top men’s teams to Myrtle Beach to battle at The Dunes Club’s renowned Robert Trent Jones layout. Beyond the aforementioned East Tennessee State, Virginia, Auburn, Louisville, Kent State, North Carolina State and Coastal Carolina squads, the 2023 Hackler field also included teams from Liberty, Duke, South Carolina, Furman, East Carolina, North Florida and Charlotte.