DRIVING AMBITION

J.T. Poston makes Catamount men’s golf history

By DANIEL HOOKER ’01

Western Carolina’s senior J.T. Poston ’15 became the first Catamount men’s golfer to advance to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in May, when he rallied on the 54th hole of regulation to move into a tie and force a sudden death playoff in regional tournament competition. Poston went on to claim the final qualifying position as the top-finishing individual not on one of the five qualifying teams, earning a berth in the championship tournament.

Poston finished the Chapel Hill Regional tournament regulation in a tie for the runner-up spot, the best-ever by a Catamount men’s golfer. His second-place showing surpassed the 14th-place tie by Matt Cook ’09 in the 2008 NCAA East Regional. Poston’s three-day score of seven-under par, 209, was one-stroke shy of Cook’s program-low of 208 carded in the 2008 regional.

In the championship tourney in Bradenton, Florida, Poston remained in contention after the first day of competition but faltered in the later rounds to place among a 10-way tie for 113th-place overall.

A four-year starter for the golf program, Poston etched his name into the WCU men’s golf record books. Poston tallied 30 career top 10 finishes including 21 top-five showings with six individual medalist honors. He claimed back-to-back Southern Conference individual championships among those victories.

In 2013, Poston became just the second WCU men’s golfer to earn an at-large berth into the NCAA post-season field, playing in the East Regional in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was the first of his three-consecutive NCAA regional appearances, the final two coming as the conference champion automatic qualifier. The 2013-14 SoCon Men’s Golfer of the Year, Poston was a three-time All-SoCon selection, garnering four career post-season honors as he was dubbed all-freshman in 2011-12.

A native of Hickory, Poston again was named to the Divison I PING All-East Region team this year by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). It is the third consecutive season Poston has earned the regional recognition.