ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy men’s golf team will play host to the 19th edition of the Navy Fall Classic on Saturday and Sunday at the par-71 Naval Academy Golf Course in Annapolis with 18 holes set for both days. Teams will tee off between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm on both days.
The Midshipmen will field three teams — Navy Blue, Gold and White — in the 15-team tournament, and will be joined by Brown, Delaware, Lafayette, La Salle, McDaniel College, North Dakota State, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Francis (Pa.), Saint Joseph’s, Seton Hall, Siena and Temple.
“We are excited to kick off our fall season with a home event featuring a strong field,” said Pat Owen, who begins his 23rd year as Navy’s head coach. “There are at least a half dozen individuals in the tournament who recently competed in the U.S. Amateur Championship, which is the pinnacle of amateur golf.
“Although we will sorely miss the four seniors who graduated from last year’s Patriot League Championship team, we return three starters (David Hall, August Jonas and Drew Selby) and have several experienced players that we believe can fill that void. This is a great event as far as determining which players on our team will respond well under pressure, especially as we prepare to defend our Star Match against Army in two weeks. I really like our team depth and hope to see many of our players do well this weekend.”
In the 18 years the Navy Fall Classic has been played, only three teams have claimed the tournament title more than once — Navy, George Mason and Delaware, who has won each of the last two crowns. The Mids won the tournament in 1993 and again in ‘95 and ‘96, while the Patriots won the inaugural invitational in 1992 and again in 2005. Both Navy and Delaware are among this year’s field, while several of the other teams playing this weekend have also competed in the annual fall tournament over the years, including Saint Joseph’s who has produced three individual medalists.
Last year, Delaware (570, +2) shot the day’s low score of par (284) to force the first playoff in Navy Fall Classic history. Delaware and Lafayette, who held a 3-stroke advantage heading into the final round, entered into a 10-man sudden death playoff with the best four out of five scores counting. The teams headed out to the eighth hole where three Lafayette players and two Delaware golfers played the hole and sat upon the hill waiting for the second group to come through. At the end of the hole, Delaware was declared the winner by virtue of four par scores with Lafayette finishing as the runner-up.
Meanwhile, playing in his first-collegiate tournament, then Navy freshman August Jonas (Jacksonville, Fla.) shot a two-round score of 4-under par 138 to earn medalist honors. Jonas proved to be the most consistent performer of the tournament, as he paired his opening-round 69 with another 69 over the final 18 holes. He held off Delaware’s Ben Conroy, who turned in a 3-under par 68 in the final round and just a stroke behind Jonas with a 139. Jonas stands alongside All-American and current PGA golfer Billy Hurley as the only two Navy players who have claimed medalist honors at the annual event. Hurley took the honor in 2003 after posting a 12-under par 130.
Junior David Hall (Huntersville, N.C.) produced the team’s second-lowest average a year ago, boasting a 75.8 average over the course of 29 rounds. Meanwhile, fellow junior Drew Selby (Charlotte, N.C.) owned a 76.1 average among the 31 holes played. Jonas, a Second-Team All-Patriot League performer a year ago, recorded a 76.4 stroke average among the team-high 32 rounds of play.
Navy, who fields a current roster of 15 players, will put three new faces out on the links this weekend — Annapolis native Garrett Moyer, Zeke Shaffer (Radford, Va.) and David Won (Bothell, Wash.).
This weekend’s Navy Fall Classic officially kicks off the 2012-13 season which features five events during the fall season. In addition to the four tournaments on the schedule, Army and Navy will converge at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J. where they will battle in the annual Star Match on Sept. 22-23.
2012 Fall Schedule: Sept. 8-9 — Navy Fall Classic (Annapolis, Md.); Sept. 22-23 — Army - Star Match (Paramus, N.J.); Sept. 30-Oct. 1 — ECAC Div. I Championship (Egg Harbor, N.J.); Oct. 13-14 — Philadelphia Big Five Classic (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.); Oct. 22-23 — Service Academy Classic (Colt’s Neck, N.J.).
### Go Navy ###