Point Park men's golf wins Berea (Ky.) Spring Tee-Off besting all KIAC teams
March 30, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. ET
The Pioneers with the trophy from the Berea (Ky.) Spring Tee-Off. Front Row (L to R): James Daley, Billy Wivelly. Back Row (L to R): Collin Holmes, Austin Elder (medalist), Coach Gabe Bubon, Chris Bowen and Steve Veydt. Photo by Lori Holmes.
FINAL RESULTS (PDF) (Scroll Down for Final Team Leaderboard & Individual Top 10)
RICHMOND, Ky. -- The Point Park University men's golf team made a statement in its first-ever competition versus Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools -- the Pioneers won first place in the Berea (Ky.) College Spring Tee-Off held Friday and Saturday at Battlefield G.C. in Richmond, Ky.
Point Park shot an impressive team total of 3-over 291 in Saturday's final round to win by 21 strokes over the other eight teams. The win was significant because all seven teams from the KIAC were in attendance, including Point Park as a first-year member of the conference.
Point Park had team totals of 297-291--588 for the tournament. The Pioneers had an eight-shot lead after Friday's first round, and they built the lead to 21 strokes by the end of the 36-hole event. KIAC member Asbury (Ky.) finished second with a tournament total of 609 (305-304) and non-conference opponent Thomas More (Ky.) was third at 613 (305-308).
A couple of seniors led the Pioneers as four-year veteran Austin Elder took individual medalist honors with a very-strong, 2-under total of 142 over 36 holes. The Warren, Ohio, native fired a 4-under 68 in the final round Saturday after being tied for fourth individually with a 74 on Friday. He won by two shots over Steven Brooks of Asbury (144).
Fellow Point Park senior Billy Wivell, a Deer Lakes, Pa., native who transferred last year from CCAC-South, finished fourth with a two-day total of 3-over 147. He was in second place with a 71 in the first round and followed that up with a 76 on Saturday.
Point Park had six players shoot in the 70s on Saturday -- the five in the regular lineup, plus one individual. Chris Bowen fired a final-round 73 to finish the tournament at 152 (79-73) and in ninth place. James Daley shot 78 on Saturday but still ended up third on the Point Park team and seventh place overall at 151 (73-78).
Collin Holmes and individual competitor Steve Veydt each shot 74 on Saturday to round out the Pioneers' contigent. Holmes recovered from an 82 on Friday for a total of 156 (82-74). Veydt shot 81-74 for 155 over 36 holes.
With the eight-shot lead in the team standings after 18 holes, the Pioneers went out early on Saturday and put the lead out of reach. Paired with the teams that were chasing them, the Pioneers had No. 1 and 2 players Elder and Holmes each shoot 3-under on the front nine Saturday. Bowen also helped to stretch the lead as he went out in 1-under.
The victory this weekend is a big one for the Pioneers, who will look to duplicate that effort in beating out the KIAC teams at the KIAC Tournament April 29-30 at Gibson Bay G.C. in Richmond, Ky. There, much more will be on the line with the winner getting the conference's automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament.
"I'm very proud of our guys," said fourth-year Point Park head coach Gabe Bubon. "We were treating this as a business trip, and that's the way the guys treated it. We are coming back with something that we thought was within reach, which was the championship. They were very focused, and I really liked their mentality.
"Of course, this doesn't mean a thing if we don't do the same thing at the end of next month at the KIAC Tournament. Our goal is to win that tournament to reach the NAIAs."
Point Park was picked 3rd of 7 teams in the KIAC Men's Golf Preseason Coaches' Poll Jan. 28. The Pioneers have 4 of 5 starters returning from last year's team that won the AMC Tournament title. But, the AMC championship didn't earn the Pioneers a trip to nationals since the AMC had only four teams.
Bubon said that getting out to a good start on Saturday was a key to the victory, as was the Pioneers' ability to manage the course well.
"It kind of set a tone early on in in the final round," said Bubon of the fast start on Saturday. "It puts pressure on guys that are chasing you. There's only so much you can come back from over 18 holes, especially having a lead to start the day.
"We played smart golf. We stayed out of trouble, looked for par mostly but took birdie if it was there. There were some shorter holes that we took advantage of, too."
Point Park's next event is April 4-5 at the Cedarville Invitational. The only other event before the KIAC Tournament is April 13-14 at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational.
Berea (Ky.) College Spring Tee-Off -- Final Team Leaderboard
1. Point Park 297-291--588
2. Asbury 305-304--609
3. Thomas More 305-308--613
4. Brescia 320-318--638
5. IU East 316-325--641
6. Berea 344-353--677
7. Cincinnati Christian 336-353--698
8. Hiwassee 375-352--752
9. Alice Lloyd 424-380--804
Berea (Ky.) College Spring Tee-Off -- Final Individual Top 10
1. Austin Elder (PPU) 142
2. Steve Brooks (AU) 144
3. Zach Lemons (AU) 146
4. Billy Wivell (PPU) 147
T5. William McKenzie (BU) 150
Mike Marcagi (TM)
T7. James Daley (PPU) 151
Adam Fangman (IUE)
9. Chris Bowen (PPU) 152
T10. Jordan Wood (AU) 153
Joey Smart (IUE)