Cougars Capture NJCAA Division 2 National Championship

Michael A. Dean

Michael A. Dean

Written by Michael A. Dean of Dean’s Duffers

For the second-straight year South Mountain CC bested the field in route to claiming the 2016 NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship recently at the Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Indiana. Coach Andy Walker’s team showed great resilience during the 72-holes of tournament play.

With the win, the Cougars earned the program’s fourth title in six years and fifth overall. South Mountain clinched the victory with a four-day total of 1138, good for 14-under par. The best day of the tournament for the Cougars came during the third round as they shot 278 and charged past Tyler (Texas) to claim the leader board’s top position. With that South Mountain began the final day with a comfortable 13-stroke cushion, before adding to its lead with a 286 in the final round.

The Cougars were anchored by individual champion Justin Warren who shot 282 in his four days of work. Warren’s personal victory though did not come easy as he was forced into a playoff rough with Carson Whittington of Kirkwood (Iowa) as the two were tied at 6-under at the conclusion of the fourth round. In a sudden death playoff, the round was stretched to a second hole before Warren came away victorious.

Also contributing for South Mountain was Connor Klein, who finished fourth-overall and shot 285, while Jake DeForest and Filip Lundell finished sixth and seventh respectively as Ryan Douglass was 14th.

In the team standings, Kirkwood finished ahead of Tyler for second despite both teams shooting 1158. The final placements were determined using a playoff round in which the Eagles won after the first hole.

Other Teebits: The 17th Annual Bill Dickey Invitational Golf Tournament is right around the corner. The event is scheduled for June 26-29 in West Palm Beach at The Club at Ibis. Forty-two minority golfers, 21-male and 21-female, will come from around the country to compete in the event that was named in honor of the late William “Bill” Dickey founder of the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association. Dickey worked tirelessly to raise scholarship dollars to aide minority students pursue their college education and play golf.

Two local golfers Andrew Proctor of Chandler and Isaac Yelder of Goodyear will try to bring home trophies like the Valley’s own Noel Sims, who won the Boys Championship last year. Both Proctor and Yelder participated last year in the 16th Annual. The competition is tough so each participant will need to bring their “A” games if they want to win. The top male and female golfer earns exemptions into the prestigious PGA Junior Championship.

Junior golfers will participate in plenary sessions and leadership workshops that will expose them to a variety of personal and professional mentoring, networking opportunities and life skills training to help them succeed in school and beyond.

For more information about the BDSA or the BDI call 602-258-7851 or visit: www.nmjgsa.org.

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