Men’s Golf DII Championship Preview: Wildcats Ready to Make some Noise
Monday, May 14, 2012 - Simpsonville, Ky.
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Junior PJ Tighe
NCAA Division II Spring Festival: Click Here
Cardinal Club Course : Click Here
Making its second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament, the Wilmington University men’s golf team is not satisfied with just making the field of 20 teams and 108 individuals this time around.
Last season, the Wildcats earned their first NCAA Division II tournament and might have been struck by the “happy to be here” feelings of earning an NCAA bid. Although a remarkable finish, the Wildcats are now looking to improve upon their 19th place finish from a year ago.
That team placed third in the NCAA East/Atlantic Super Regional and this season head coach Harry Jennings loaded his spring season schedule with tournaments all over the country and against the top tier teams that compete for a National Championship every year. The Wildcats headed to San Diego to face the top teams out west, back to the site of the 2011 National Tournament in northern Alabama, and to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to face the top south-east teams of the country.
The heavy travel schedule paid off.
This year, the team won the NCAA Division II East/Atlantic Super Regional by six strokes, and landed the top individual medalist as junior PJ Tighe won the tournament going away by eight strokes. Wilmington comes into the National Tournament as the top seed out of the East/Atlantic and is one of only two teams to be recognized nationally by receiving votes in the latest Golf Coaches Association of America Coaches’ Poll (Indiana, Pa. is the other team).
The championships will be held May 15-19, at The Cardinal Club Golf Course in Simpsonville, Ky. The championships are part of the 2012 Division II National Championships Festival being hosted by Bellarmine and the Louisville Sports Commission.
The top five teams and top two individuals not on those teams from each regional have advanced to compete at the finals.
The other spring sports that are participating in the 2012 Division II National Championships Festival in Louisville, Ky., are women’s lacrosse, softball and men’s and women’s tennis.
Tighe also led wire-to-wire, tying for the lowest round of the tournament with a 72 opening round score. Tighe didn’t settle for the first round league, as he roared back with a 73 between Tuesday and Wednesday on the second round before finishing by tying the tournament low score again of 72 on the final 18 holes. The junior finished with a 217, four-over par total score. Tighe also won the CACC Tournament two week earlier.
The remaining three scorers for the Wildcats all finished in the top 20 in the tournament, giving them the best four golfers over the three-rounds for the tournament championship. Andrew Baldo shot a consistent 77-77-77 for a 231 total, coming in a tie for 12 overall. Head coach Harry Jennings used Jerry Temple Jr. in the first and third rounds and Temple responded with a 73 first round score and a 75 second round score that counted, coupled with an 84 second round that was scratched. Overall, Temple shot a 232 and tied for 15th overall. Senior Dan Ott shot a 79-78-76 for a three round total of 233 and a tie for 18th overall. John Perrine’s second round score of 81 was added to the mix, coming to the team total of 910 for the tournament.
The Wildcats begin their NCAA Division II National Championship run on Tuesday, May 15 with the first tee time available, starting on the back-nine at 7:30 a.m. They will be paired with South/Southeast Regional No. 2 Barry, and West/Central No. 2 Cal State Chico on the first day.
Live updates will be available via Wilmington’s Twitter account; @WilmUAthletics.
2012 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship
Teams and Individuals competing:
1. Wilmington (Del.), 2. Indiana (Pa.), 3. Concord, 4. Post. 5. St. Thomas Aquinas
1. Jacob Barge, Fayetteville State, 2. Ryan Thomson, West Liberty
1. Georgia College, 2. Barry, 3. Nova Southeastern, 4. UNC Pembroke, 5. South Carolina-Aiken
1. J.P. Griffin, Georgia Southwestern State, 2. Jeff Evanier, Eckerd
Midwest/South Central Regional
1. Central Missouri, 2. Washburn. 3. Central Oklahoma. 4. Indianapolis, St. Edward’s
1. Trey Lawson, Cameron, 2. Kyle Wittenbach, Ferris State
1. Cal State Stanislaus, 2. Cal State Chico, 3. Colorado Mines, 4. Western Washington, 5. Grand Canyon
1. Alex Sobstad, Cal State Monterey Bay, 2. Kyle Chappell, Dixie State