SALUTE TO CHAMPIONS: Men's Golf
Twice a week this summer, Atlantic10.com will feature a sport-by-sport look back at the 2014-15 season and championships. Check back each week for a review of each sport. Today's look back: Men's Golf.
There were several outstanding individual performances during the year in Atlantic 10 men’s golf, resulting in nine different institutions having a student-athlete earn weekly A-10 honors. But on the team side, the defending champion VCU was the team to beat. The Rams were the unanimous choice to repeat in the coaches’ pre-championship poll.
The coaches were proven correct when VCU won its second straight Atlantic 10 Golf Championship on April 26, claiming the 2015 title at Harmony Golf Preserve. The Rams finished at 10-under par to claim the victory and an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.
Junior Adam Ball finished at 14 under, carding a 202 (66-68-68) to earn Medalist honors, leading the Rams to an 854 (286-286-282) final tally. VCU coach Matt Ball was named A-10 Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year. Steffen Harm’s 219 (75-71-73) and Enej Sarkanj’s 221 (77-74-70) were VCU’s other Top 20 finishers. Both Harm and Adam Ball were voted onto the All-Conference team.
Richmond freshman Matthew Lowe was named the 2015 A-10 Rookie of the Year after finishing second overall with a 209 (76-67-66). Lowe, also an All-Conference choice, recorded the lowest daily score of any competitor on both round two (67) and round three (66). His performance helped the Spiders place second with a three-over 867 (294-286-287). Richmond had rallied into second place on day two, and then held the runner-up position through Sunday’s final round. UR’s David Germann also had a top-five finish, carding a 215 (69-73-73) to tie for fifth.
Davidson was third overall with a with an 869 (284-291-294) and was led by All-Conference selection David Sargent, who tied Germann for fifth with a 215 (72-71-72). George Mason and Rhode Island tied for fourth with an 874. Mason (296-287-291) was paced by Zack Lauzon, who also tied for fifth with a 215 (74-70-71). Rhody (292-294-288) had Billy Walthouse named to the All-Conference team. Walthouse finished tied for 13th and was URI’s second-place finisher behind Joseph Leavitt, who tied for 11th overall.
The remainder of the All-Conference team, which was selected by the league’s 11 head coaches, included Davidson’s Todd Eckstein, Jack Persons of George Washington, Tonny Aizpun of La Salle, last year’s Medalist Danny Pizetoski of Richmond and VCU’s Jamie Clare. The All-Academic team consisted of David Sargent of Davidson, Persons, Germann, Dan Dunnigan of St. Bonaventure and Steffen Harm, VCU.
VCU had a strong showing at NCAA Regionals at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. The Rams (+6) tied for ninth overall, one stroke behind eighth-place Iowa State, finishing with a flourish by shooting a season-best 10-under in the third round. VCU's final round score was surpassed only by South Carolina (-14) and Washington (-11).
Harm carded a season-low, 5-under par 67 Saturday to spearhead the VCU charge. It was a remarkable turnaround for Harm, who opened the tournament with an 82. He rallied to shoot 72 on Friday. Harm's 67 is tied for the best round recorded by a Ram in NCAA competition.
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