CHAUTAUQUA, New York – After a week of sitting in fourth place, the Columbus State men's golf team finished in that very spot at the NJCAA DIII Men's Golf National Championship. This marks the second top four finish in two years for the Cougars which includes a history of two national championships (1993 and 2003) and numerous national tournament appearances.
Coach Rocky Nelson was pleased with how the golf team performed at the tournament. "I thought we represented ourselves well," he said. "We exceeded our own expectations and it really was a joy to work with this group of young men this season."
As a team, Columbus State shot 324-328-308-332—1292, 57 strokes behind the national champion Georgia Military College (315-314-305-301—1235), who won by a single stroke. Sandhills Community College and Minnesota State Technical College came in second and third place respectively. All three teams held the top 3 spots for the duration of the tournament.
One Columbus State golfer was named an All-American at the conclusion of play. Sophomore Jacob Wilson (Westerville/Big Walnut HS) led the Cougars with 76-80-75-82—313 to tie for 12th place and Third-Team All-American recognition.
After eagling the very first hole in the first round, Wilson realized that achieving all-American status was a possibility. "I knew if I held it together, I could pull it off," said Wilson.
Other scorers include sophomores Nicholas Darling and Preston Yeater who tied for 36th place. Darling scored 86-77-77-85—325 while Yeater posted 81-86-75-83—325. Rounding out the Cougars' scoring were freshman Anthony Tesi and sophomore Adam Hopson. Both tied for 54th place out of 85 total competitors. Tesi carded an 86-87-82-82—337 while Hopson finished with an 81-85-81-90—337.
Rainy conditions led to higher scores in the first two rounds at the par 72, 6,571 yard Chautauqua Golf Club. Round 3 saw conditions and scores improve with a top three finish still within reach. The Cougars went into the final round 23 strokes behind Minnesota State but couldn't pull off the same success they saw in the third round.
The tournament officially marks the end of the 2018-19 sport season as well as the departure of sophomores Wilson, Darling, Yeater, and Hopson. Wilson concluded "I'm thankful for Columbus State for the opportunity to play golf for two years after high school. I appreciate everything Coach Rocky has done for me."
Complete results of each round can be found here: http://jccjayhawks.com/events/njcaa-stats