|EMCC linksters Weston Wallace and Zack Bailey set for NJCAA Division II Golf Championship|
SCOOBA – The record-setting season for the East Mississippi Community College golf team culminates with this week’s NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship in Scottsboro, Ala. For the first time in the program’s history, two EMCC golfers will compete in the national tournament during the same year.
For head coach Dale Peay’s EMCC Lions, Brandon’s Weston Wallace and Zack Bailey, of Caledonia, will begin competition Tuesday in the four-day (May 17-20) NJCAA golf event set to take place at the 7,100-yard, par-72 Goose Pond Colony Golf Course.
A freshman out of Northwest Rankin High School, Wallace received an automatic invitation into this year’s national championship by becoming the first-ever EMCC golfer to claim the coveted Hubert Tucker Award for compiling the best scoring average among Mississippi’s junior college golfers during the regular season. Wallace, who ranked as EMCC’s top finisher in four of the team’s six tournaments this season, leads the Lions with a team-best 76.5 scoring average. The all-state linkster concluded the regular season by claiming medalist honors with a final-round 69 at the EMCC-hosted MACJC event held at the Mississippi State University Golf Course.
A product of Caledonia High School, Bailey played his way into this week’s NJCAA Golf Championship by tying for runner-up honors in the NJCAA Region 23 Golf Championship played at Amory’s River Birch Golf Club. The all-region performer enters the national tournament with a 79.6 scoring average on the season, highlighted by regional rounds of 75 and 74 to secure EMCC’s highest-ever individual finish at the NJCAA Region 23 golf tournament.
In becoming the fifth and sixth golfers in school history to represent East Mississippi Community College in the NJCAA Championship, Wallace and Bailey helped lead this year’s EMCC squad to a program-best, runner-up finish at the MACJC State Golf Championship held at Deerfield Country Club in Canton.
Most recently in NJCAA golf competition for the Lions, former EMCC golfer Hal Larkin, another product of Caledonia High School, tied for 53rd place (77-78-76-75=306) during the 2009 NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship also held at Goose Pond Colony. Prior to that, Gary Sheppard tied for 58th place (77-78-72-82=309) at the 2004 national tournament held in Arizona. Currently working as a professional golf instructor in Texas, former New Hope High School standout Matt King finished in a 72nd-place tie (83-74-78-78=313) at the 2001 event played in Texas. Presently teaching and coaching at New Hope, former EMCC linkster Drew McBrayer competed in the 1999 national tournament held in North Carolina.
A total of 41 schools will be represented at this week’s NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship, including 19 full teams and selected individuals from other junior colleges across the country. Mississippi Gulf Coast will represent the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges for the fourth straight year as four-time reigning NJCAA Region 23 team champions. Individually for the MACJC, EMCC’s tandem will be joined by Copiah-Lincoln’s duo of Bennett Ruschewski and Keaton Stamps as well as Austin Holt of Northeast Mississippi CC.
Awarded the bid for the NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship this year as well as for 2013 and 2015, Goose Pond Colony Golf Course is a George Cobb design that opened in 1971. With a four-star rating by Golf Digest magazine, the course is located on the banks of the Tennessee River’s scenic Lake Guntersville and nestled into the Cumberland Mountains. Daily results from this week’s tournament will be available online at www.mccaa.org/divIIgolfnat.htm.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 16 May 2011 )|
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