Written By: Travis Richardson | @travis_richson
The Spring 2016 NCCGA season kicked off this past weekend with three regional tournaments. Southeast, Texas, and the Desert Region had three teams take the first step to #GetToGlade, and more teams looking ahead to the second tournament to make a comeback attempt.
The weekend saw eight teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 in action, including the top three teams from the Fall 2015 National Championship. Who emerged victorious?
After spending a year in the North Carolina Region, the South Carolina club golf team came back to the Southeast Region with a vengeance. Playing in Columbia, the Gamecocks stormed out to a 13-stroke lead following round 1 and extended it on Day 2 to win by 19. Golf Academy of America-Myrtle Beach finished in second, and Georgia finished third via tiebreaker over Clemson.
South Carolina was led by medalist Ford Blanchard, runner-up Evan Rodwell, and fifth place Brian Weaver. Kyle Hill and Daniel Childress placed 3rd and 4th for GAA, Connor Blackwelder finished in 6th for Clemson, Greg Preston 7th for Georgia, and Tyler Holmes rounded out the All-Tournament team for Georgia Southern.
Special congratulations to Wofford club golf on their first-ever NCCGA tournament, and to Citadel for their impressive 49-stroke performance from Day 1 to Day 2. The second Southeast Regional will take place April 2/3 at Crowfield Golf Club.
El Conquistador Golf Course played host to the Desert Region's first tournament of the semester. Playing the Canada course on Day 1, Grand Canyon University earned a 2-stroke lead over the field in its second semester playing club golf. Golf Academy of America-Chandler was right on their heels, followed by Arizona State. Day 2 the teams played the El Conquistador course and GAA made their move. Firing an impressive team score of 390, GAA outpaced the field to win by 18-strokes. Grand Canyon finished in 2nd, and Arizona State in 3rd.
Eric Davidoff earned medalist honors for ASU, joined by teammate Jack Hiemenz in 8th place. GAA placed four students on the All-Tournament team: Dan Bubany (2nd), Adam Breitenbucher (4th), Gregory Newland (6th), and Craig Miller (7th). Zachary Capel, Jordan Yamamoto placed for Grand Canyon.
The second Desert Regional will take place on April 9/10 at Oakcreek Country Club.
The defending club golf champions and runners-up were both in action in Texas, neither of which came in as the defending regional champions. UT-Austin went into Round 2 with an 8-stroke lead over Golf Academy of America-Dallas, but windy conditions made scoring difficult on Day 2. None of the teams improved their score from Day 1 to Day 2, but the Longhorns held on to emerge victorious by 1-stroke over GAA, followed by Baylor in 3rd.
The Longhorns were paced by three individuals in the Top 4: Evan Cirinna, Carson Stepler, and Kyle Heenan. Blaine Butner of GAA earned medalist honors with a 71-69, the only player to finish under par for the tournament. Ryan Hellmers finished in 5th for Southern Methodist, and Baylor placed three on the All-Tournament team: Bruce Popp, Patrick Blonien, and Benjamin Valle.
The second Texas Regional of the semester will take place on April 9/10 at Squaw Valley Golf Course.