By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Battle Creek, Mich.---Dominic DiGiacomo (Ocean City/Ocean City, N.J.) shot a final round 1-over 73 to punctuate a third round 291 team score as the Owens Community College men's golf team captured first place the Region XII tournament championship at Bedford Valley this afternoon.
The championship is the third over the past four years for Owens. In addition, they become the first team in Owens athletics history to make the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Tournament four straight seasons. Last year, they finished second to earn the trip as the top two teams make it each year.
This year, Owens shot a 302-300-291--893 to pick up the trophy. Oakland Community College, which defeated Mott Community College in a one-hole playoff after tying at 919, also advances to the NJCAA D-II National Tournament at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind. May 24-27.
For Owens, DiGiacomo finished 2-over through the tournament's three rounds to fend off Oakland's Justin Pahl, who shot a 4-over, for medalist honors. He becomes the fourth straight Owens golfer to capture Region XII Player of the Year recognition, which goes to the medalist of the Region XII tournament.
In addition to DiGiacomo, Dylan Holsclaw (Plainfield/Plainfield, Ind.) came through in a big way all tournament for Owens. He shot a 79-73-73--225 to finish 9-over and in fifth place individually. Will Mullins (St. Bernadette's/Bristol, United Kingdom) also finished in the top 10 after shooting an 81-76-70--227 to tie for seventh place. In fact, Mullins tied Lakeland Community College's Stephen Dolan for the lowest score in today's third round.
Rounding out the Owens lineup was Karit Kitipongpatana (St. Dominic School/Bangkok, Thailand) and Bandit Chaisuk (Phathumthapwittayakarn/Nong Khai, Thailand). Kitipongpatana fired his best round of the tournament with a 3-over 75 this afternoon and finished at 13-over for the tournament, while Chaisuk bounced back from a second round 90 to pick up his second 3-over 75 round today.
For coaching the winning team, Owens head golf coach Josh Williams was named the Region XII Coach of the Year for the third time in the past four years.
Owens will now head to nationals next week looking for its fourth straight top 10 finish. They finished ninth last year, fifth in 2014 and 10th in 2013. Overall, it is the program's sixth trip to nationals after finishing 14th in 2006 and 10th in 2008.