Men’s golf reaches national standing
After a second straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title and strong showing in the NCAA Division III championship, the men’s golf team has won a spot among the nation’s elite programs.
The Pioneers successfully defended their HCAC crown when their team score of 1216 easily outdistanced Franklin College (1277) and Anderson University (1283). Transy was led by the medalist play of junior Bradley Sutherland, whose 290 total was 10 shots better than runner-up Tyler Daniels of Anderson.
All five Transy golfers finished in the top eight, earning each a spot on the All-HCAC team. Besides Sutherland, senior Corey Maggard (308), sophomore Matthew Martin (312), senior Greg Turcotte (315), and senior Alex Rechtin (317) earned the honor.
Transy’s success prompted HCAC coaches to vote Sutherland Golfer of the Year and head coach Brian Lane Coach of the Year. Lane received the honor for the second year in a row.
With the HCAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in hand, the Pioneers headed to the Chateau Elan Resort in Braselton, Ga., for the national event, hoping to improve on last year’s 12th place finish. Transy got as high as seventh on the leaderboard at one point, then finished in 11th place among the nation’s top 35 teams.
Sutherland again led the way for Transy with a score of 300, good for 15th in individual competition. His teammates included Maggard (311), Martin (312), Rechtin (315), and Turcotte (321). Sutherland’s play earned him a second straight spot on the Ping All-American second team, voted on by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
New events during the regular season also reflected Transy’s climb to national status. The Pioneers were invited to two prestigious tournaments reserved for teams who played in the NCAA championship the prior year.
Transy finished seventh in the Gordin Classic, played on the same Chateau Elan Resort course used for the 2008 NCAA tourney. The field consisted of the top 12 teams from the 2007 NCAA event. The Pioneers were 13th out of 26 in the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational, again competing against the top NCAA teams from a year ago.