By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Scottsboro, Ala.---The Owens Community College men's golf team shot a fourth round 306 to finish ninth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Tournament at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course.
Harrison Long (Wilnecote/Tamworth, U.K.) shot a 75 as he had the team's low score for the third straight round. Dominic DiGiacomo (Ocean City/Ocean City, N.J.), Wyatt Spalding (Summerfield/Petersburg, Mich.), and Philippe Weppernig (Luzern, Switzerland) each added a 77, while Christian Bienaime (Lake Brantley/Altamonte Springs, Fla.) added a 78.
Long's 72-69-73-75---289 earned him a 21st place finish and allowed him to become an NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American. He becomes the first two-time All-American in program history after earning Second Team All-American honors last year.
DiGiacomo, Spalding and Weppernig each shot a four-round total of 300 to finish in a tie for 62nd place. Bienaime fired a 78-82-77-78---315 to finish tied for 101st place.
Owens finished with a four round total of 1,187 with individual round scores of 290-290-301-306.
South Mountain (AZ) won the team national championship with scores of 277-276-288-281---1,122. Tyler (TX) Junior College finished second with a 1,137 and Mississippi Gulf Coast finished third with a 1,152.
South Mountain's Connor Klein won the individual national title with scores of 66-71-72-67---276.
Despite finishing four spots worse than last year in the team standings, Owens improved its team score by 32 strokes overall.
This year's ninth place finish marks the third straight top 10 finish nationally for the Owens men's golf program. It is the second best finish in program history behind last year's fifth place team.
Interestingly, Owens finished this year's tournament with a 1,187, which actually two strokes better than the score that won last year's national title (1,189, Walters State). Also, Long's 289 was just two strokes worse than Levi Fink's 287 that won last year's individual national title.
This year's tournament featured 18 teams and 119 total golfers.