|EMCC golf team advances to regionals with school-best runner-up finish at MACJC Championship|
CANTON – The East Mississippi Community College men’s golf team has earned a return trip to the NJCAA Region 23 Championship by claiming a school-best runner-up team finish at this week’s MACJC State Championship, held Monday and Tuesday at Deerfield Country Club.
Head coach Dale Peay’s EMCC Lions jumped from fourth place with Tuesday’s final-round 298 to finish second behind defending state champion and reigning three-time Region 23 champion Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Bulldogs won the two-day event by nine strokes (305-297—602), though EMCC trailed the eventual repeat champions by just a single stroke during the final round to finish the Holmes CC-hosted tournament with a 611 team score.
East Mississippi’s second-place team showing at this week’s state tournament bettered the Lions’ previous-best third-place finish at the 2009 MACJC State Championship, when they also qualified for the NJCAA Region 23 Championship. Having recently recorded an all-time team best score of 297 during second-round play of last week’s EMCC-hosted MACJC event at the MSU Golf Course in Starkville, the Lions approached the mark for the second straight week with their final-round 298 on the 6,235-yard, par-72 Deerfield layout.
“I’ve been saying all along that if we played to our potential something like this could happen for our team,” EMCC’s Peay noted. “It was a pressure-packed day out there today with trying to qualify for regionals, but these guys responded just like I knew we were capable of. We’ve been working extremely hard to get better, and I’m tremendously proud of everyone.”
Winners of the previous two MACJC regular-season events this spring, Northwest Mississippi finished third at this week’s MACJC State Championship with a two-round score of 617 (307-310). The Rangers were followed by Copiah-Lincoln (312-312—624) and Jones County (314-323—637) in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Individually for EMCC, all five Lion linksters placed among the top 25 finishers at this week’s state tournament. Freshman Weston Wallace, this year’s recipient of the coveted Hubert Tucker Award for having the lowest regular-season scoring average among MACJC golfers, shot 76 and 74 to tie teammate Andrew Spiers and East Central’s Luke Brown for third-place honors. Weston, a product of Northwest Rankin High School, has now earned all-tournament honors in four of the five MACJC golf events this spring. A freshman from Pearl River Central High School who missed the early portion of the spring campaign with a broken arm, Spiers shaved 10 strokes off his opening-round 80 to finish with a 6-over-par 150.
MGCCC’s Drew Seals captured individual medalist honors with his even-par 144 (75-69) to finish five shots better than teammate Jared Smith (76-73—149).
Also for the Lions, sophomore Zack Bailey, of Caledonia, improved 11 strokes (85-74—159) over the two days to finish in a three-way tie for 18th place. Rounding out EMCC’s scorecard this week were freshman Tyler Slocum (80-80—160) and sophomore Ian McAdams (77-83—160), who tied for 21st place with three other golfers.
Set to make their second regional golf appearance in three years, the EMCC Lions will participate in next week’s (April 18-19) NJCAA Region 23 Championship in Amory. Hosted by Itawamba Community College, the two-day regional tournament will begin Monday at River Birch Golf Club.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 April 2011 )|
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