Navy Looks To Repeat at Patriot League Men's Golf Championship
April 26, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The six-time Patriot League Championship-winning Navy men's golf team will travel to the Lehigh Valley this weekend where it will begin its quest to claim the 2013 Patriot League Men's Golf Championship. Navy is the defending Patriot League Championship and was the preseason favorite to win this year's title once again.
The par-72 Saucon Valley Country Club will serve as the backdrop for the two-day, 54-hole Patriot League Championship which is set to begin on Saturday with 36 holes of play beginning at 8:00 am, followed by the final round on Sunday at 8:00 am. Each team will field six players, with the top four scores in each round counted for the team score. The winner of the event receives an automatic bid to one of the six NCAA Regionals, held May 16-18.
Saucon Valley Country Club is playing host to the Patriot League Men's Golf Championship for the fourth time and first since 2008. Navy won the most recent competition at Saucon Valley in 2008, and also claimed the title in 2003. Lehigh won the crown the first time the event was played on its home course in 1996.
The individual medalist earns the Patriot League Most Outstanding Player award, while the highest-finishing freshman is named the Rookie of the Year. A 10-member All-Patriot League Team is also determined by championship finish, with the top five on the first team and the next five as second-team recipients.
The field includes the last three Patriot League Rookie of the Year recipients in Army's Matt Philie (2010), Navy's David Hall (2011) and Bucknell's Peter Scialabba (2012). Scialabba finished second at last year's championship, and is one of five returnees who earned All-Patriot League status last year.
Navy won the 2012 Patriot League Men's Golf Championship at the Bucknell Golf Course when it held off Army by three strokes for the crown. The previous year, Army beat Navy by four shots in the championship at the Naval Academy Golf Course. Coaches and sports information directors are predicting the same type of finish in 2013, with Navy finishing in first place with 66 points and Army coming right behind with 65 points in the championship poll, even though the Black Knights picked up eight first-place votes to six for the Mids. Next in line were Lehigh (48), Bucknell (41), Lafayette (38), Colgate (21) and Holy Cross (15). The last four Patriot League championships have all been decided by seven strokes or less, and featured four different winners with Bucknell claiming the title in 2009 and Lafayette in 2010.
The Midshipmen have claimed the tournament title six times since 1998, including back-to-back-to-back titles in 1998 (fall), 2000 and 2001. In addition, six different Midshipmen have won the individual title.
Three of the six players who guided Navy to the 2012 Patriot League Championship crown will again represent the Mids in this year's tournament, including All-Patriot League performer August Jonas (Jacksonville, Fla.), who came up just shy of rookie of the year honors. Jonas turned in an 8-over par 221 to place sixth at last year's postseason event, pacing the Mids alongside 2012 graduate Peter Reilly. Jonas owns Navy's low stroke average this season at 76.35 and has placed among the top 10 in two of the eight tournaments.
Junior Drew Selby (Charlotte, N.C.) fell just outside of the top 10 at last year's Patriot League Championship where he produced a 12-over par 225 to finish 13th. Selby, too, has placed among the top 10 in two events this season and boasts a 76.47 stroke average.
Fellow junior David Hall (Huntersville, N.C.) struggled early in last year's tournament, however, he is the veteran member of the group in terms of experience at the Patriot League Championship. Hall placed 30th a year ago after opening the tournament 10 over, however, he garnered Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors in his first appearance at the tournament. Hall heads into the weekend with a 78.56 stroke average.
Newcomers to this weekend's tournament will include juniors Chris House (Raleigh, N.C.) and Bobby Keating (Garden City, N.Y.), along with rookie Zeke Shaffer (Radford, Va.). Along with Jonas, House has played in all eight tournaments this season and has produced a 77.70 stroke average, while Keating has seen action in six events and owns a 78.86 average. Meanwhile, Shaffer has proven to be a solid contributor this season, especially during the spring season. Seeing action in four tournaments, three in the spring, he will look to become the fifth player in school history to earn Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors when he he steps foot onto the greens this weekend. He has registered a 77.00 stroke average to date.
### Go Navy ###