GOLF: Bobcats finish strong at USCAA Nationals

The Georgia Northwestern golf team followed up a first-round 300 with a 293 in its final round to place fifth overall at the USCAA National Championships in State College, Pa. on Tuesday. Noah Hankins (second, from right) was a second team All-American. / Scott Herpst, file photo

The Georgia Northwestern Bobcats turned in one of their best rounds of the season in the second and final round of the USCAA Men's National Championships at Penn State University on Tuesday.

After an even 300 on Monday, the Bobcats carded a 5-over-par 293 over their final 18 holes on PSU's Blue Course. The 293 is the lowest score the Bobcats have shot away from their own home course in LaFayette since the program was rebooted nearly two years ago.

Georgia Northwestern finished in fifth place overall, just three shots out of third. Their total score of 593 was a 12-stroke improvement over last year's two rounds at Nationals and it was also the Bobcats' fourth consecutive top-five finish at a national championship tournament. GNTC placed third and second, respectively, in two appearances at the National Junior College Athletic Association Men's Division III tournament in New York and was fourth at USCAA Nationals a year ago.

Freshman Noah Hankins' score of 2-over par 146 (74-72) was enough to earn him second-team All-American honors, while Spencer Alexander (3-over, 147) finished just one shot away from making the second-team list. Alexander tied for 16th place overall.

Lane Strickland (5-over, 149) had rounds of 75 and 74 to tie for 20th. Ryan Redd (8-over, 152) shot 77 and 75 to tie for 28th, while Cole Roberts (12-over, 156) rebounded from an opening-round 82 to shoot 74 on Tuesday.

Following a tournament-record opening round of 5-under 283, St. Mary of the Woods (Ind.) followed with 2-under 286 to capture their first USCAA Men's National Championship in school history with a tournament record of 7-under 569.

SUNY-Delhi, the defending champions shot 292 on Tuesday after a 291 on Monday to finish second at 7-over (583), while Cleary University (Mich.) and Mississippi University for Women were tied for third at 14-over (590). It should be noted that Mississippi University for Women began admitting men to their school in 1982 and currently offers six different collegiate sports for both men and women.

Sean Barron of SUNY-ESF captured the men's individual championship with a tournament-record 7-under 137 after his 3-under-par 69 on Tuesday. Colton Kuppler of St. Mary of the Woods was second with a 138, while teammate Ben Myers was third with a 139. All three of those broke the previous tournament record by Tommy Stirling (Southern Maine C.C.), who shot a 4-under 140 in the 2011 tournament.

The women's individual championship was won by Alison Agoglia of SUNY-Delhi, who shot an 85 on Tuesday for a tournament total of 166. Her teammate Erin Schowerer was second with a 172 tournament score.

Georgia Northwestern will wrap up the 2018 fall season at Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, Ga. as they will participate in the Truett-McConnell Invitational.