By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Battle Creek, Mich.---The Owens Community College men's golf team sits alone in first place with a 602 through two rounds of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Region XII tournament at Bedford Valley Golf Course this afternoon.
Owens shot 26-over through two rounds and is currently nine strokes ahead of Mott Community College for first place in the 10-team, 56 player tournament. Oakland Community College is third with a 40-over 616.
Should they hold that position through tomorrow's final round, the Owens men's golf team would book its fourth straight appearance at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament - a feat that no other team in Owens athletics history has accomplished.
Dominic DiGiacomo (Ocean City/Ocean City, N.J.), who shot a 1-under 71 in the first round to lead all golfers, finished with a 2-over 74 in the second round and sits one stroke back of first place behind Oakland Community College's Justin Pahl, who shot a pair of 72's today.
Dylan Holsclaw (Plainfield/Plainfield, Ind.) is also in the top 10 through two rounds. The freshman fired a 7-over 79 and a 1-over 73 in his two rounds for a two-round total of 152, which puts him 8-over and in ninth place entering tomorrow.
Kitipongpatana, who totaled three birdies in 36 holes today, shot a pair of 5-over 77's and is in a 12th place tie, while Mullins shot a 9-over 81 and a 4-over 76 and is tied for 16th after also recording three birdies on the day.
The fifth and final Owens golfer was Bandit Chaisuk (Phathumthapwittayakarn/Nong Khai, Thailand), who shot a 3-over 75 in the first round, which had him in a sixth place tie. In the second 18, however, he was bit by tough luck and finished with an 18-over 90. His two-round total of 165 has him tied for 36th entering tomorrow.
Owens, led by seven from DiGiacomo, finished with 18 birdies on the day.
Through 12 tournaments dating back to the fall season, Owens has captured seven first place finishes, three seconds place finishes and two third place finishes.
Owens has won two of the past three Region XII tournaments after finishing second behind Grand Rapids Community College last year. With the top two teams advancing, though, Owens has made three straight trips to the national tournament. In 2013, Owens shot a three-day total of 884. In 2014, they improved and shot a three-day total of 882. All six of those rounds included sub-300 team scores each round. Last year, Owens shot a 299-298-307 to finish with a 904 - just two strokes behind GRCC.
Individually, an Owens golfer has won each of the past three tournaments - Harrison Long (2015), Brandon Hoelzer (2014) and Brandon Hoelzer (2013). In 2013, Hoelzer actually tied teammate Walter Dorosh, but captured medalist honors with a birdie in a one-hole playoff.