April 30, 2016
WOLVERINE MEN CLAIM FIRST PAC CROWN SINCE 2000!
GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City men's golf team rallied from a two-stroke, 54-hole deficit to outshoot Saint Vincent by four strokes in the final round and claim the 2015-16 Presidents' Athletic Conference men's golf title by two strokes with a 72-hole score of 1,212 at the PAC Spring Championships on Friday and Saturday at the Grove City Country Club.
With the victory, Grove City has earned the PAC's automatic berth and the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships. The Wolverines last won the team title in 2000, beating Washington and Jefferson by 14 strokes in a 36-hole event at Oglebay's Spiedel Golf Club in Wheeling, W.Va.
The 2015-16 PAC Championships were comprised of a 72-hole stroke play event, with 36 holes contested at the Fall Championships at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon and another 36 holes played at the Spring Championships. The combined 72-hole team total determined the 2015-16 PAC team champions, winners of the league's automatic qualifying bid to the 2016 NCAA Division III Championships, and all-conference honors.
Trailing Saint Vincent by four strokes following the Fall Championships (616-620), Grove City shot a 298 on Friday to close within two strokes of the Bearcats (916-918). On Saturday, each and every stroke mattered. With the two teams paired together, the Bearcats had increased their lead to three strokes with the first four pairs into the clubhouse, but sophomore Jorden Alfery (Cheswick, Pa./Fox Chapel) posted an even-par 72 -- Saturday's best score -- to best Saint Vincent's Ben Biss by five strokes in the final pairing of the day to give the Wolverines the narrow victory.
Alfery finished second in the 72-hole event and earned First Team All-PAC honors after posting a four-round score of 299, finishing as just one of two players below 300. Alfery also posted the lowest 36-hole score among the 39 golfers at the Spring Championships with a 145.
Freshman Cole McCook (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown STEM) earned Second Team All-PAC laurels by tying for seventh overall with a 72-hole score of 306. At the spring championships, McCook posted Grove City's second best score each day, tying for third overall for the weekend with a 36-hole score of 147.
Junior Austin Eckhardt (Strasburg, Ohio/Strasburg) recorded rounds of 75 both days to post a 36-hole score of 150 while sophomore Nate Guiler (Mercer, Pa./Mercer) followed a 76 on Friday with a 74 on Saturday -- including chipping in for eagle on 16 -- to match Eckhardt's 150 as the two men tied for sixth overall for the weekend. Neither played during the Fall Championships and were thus ineligible for all-conference honors.
Freshman Ryan Koenig (Cranberry Township, Pa./Eden Christian) rounded out the Grove City five by shooting 80 on both Friday and Saturday for a weekend total of 160 and a 72-hole score of 323, which tied for 17th among the 31 golfers who played all four rounds.
Coach Melissa Lamie was named the conference's Men's Golf Coach of the Year for the first time in her career. Saint Vincent senior Jake Reed earned Player of the Year honors after recording a 72-hole total of 290 strokes.
The Wolverines will compete in the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships from May 10-13 at the Midvale Country Club and Mendon Golf Club in Rochester, N.Y.
GROVE CITY SCORECARD
|Spring Total||72-Hole Total|
|Jorden Alfery (So., Cheswick, Pa./Fox Chapel)||73-72* 145*||77-77-73-72 299|
|Cole McCook (Fr., Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown STEM)||74-73 147||81-78-74-73 306|
|Austin Eckhardt (Jr., Strasburg, Ohio/Strasburg)||75-75 150||DNP in Fall|
|Nate Guiler (So., Mercer, Pa./Mercer)||76-74 150||DNP in Fall|
|Ryan Koenig (Fr., Cranberry Twp., Pa./Eden Christian)||80-80 160||78-85-80-80 323|
|*indicates low score|
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