Golf wins Division II NEIGA Championship

Devin Bergeron, Sports Editor

The Saint Anselm College men’s golf team grabbed the NCAA Division II title at the New England Intercollegiate Golf Championship on Monday. The division title is the team’s third since the 2010-11 season.

The Hawks last played at the Saint Rose Fall Shootout back on October 5-6. The team placed tenth out of the 11 team field after posting a rough 342 score on the opening day of play to start their weekend at the bottom. Led by senior Stephen Hunt’s field-leading 71 in the second round, the team was able to slide up into the penultimate spot in the standings.

Hunt went plus-five for the weekend which was good for third overall out of the 62 athletes that made the trip. Accompanying Hunt in order of score was senior Billy Argus (+12), freshmen Cole English (+32), junior Austin Coyne (+39), and freshmen Eddie Morin (+44).

Taking the field for the final time on the fall calendar the team headed to Brewster, Massachusetts, at The Captains Golf Course for the 84th annual NEIGA Championship. Senior Jack Dowding, sophomore Alec Brunelle, and freshmen James Henry joined Hunt and Argus on the trip.

The Hawks started their fall finale off right on Sunday after a field-leading eight birdies had them only trailing Assumption College by five strokes on the first day of play. Hunt and Brunelle both put up scores of 78, to put them tied for third out of the field of 30. Seniors Argus and Dowding followed them in scoring with 81 and 85 respectively. Rounding out the team the first day was the rookie Henry who put up 89.

Looking to leapfrog Assumption in the second round to take home the team title, the Hawks took to the Starboard Course Monday. Pacing the pack, the team captain Hunt brought his A-game on the second day of competition, putting home six birdies, giving him a field-leading total of eight for both rounds.

Hunt’s second round score of 75 gave him 153 two day total, as his plus-nine card tied him for third place. Brunelle picked up another 78 to set him at plus-12 for the weekend and grab sixth-place honors. Argus followed right after, shooting plus-13, while Henry netted a plus-19, and Dowding finished up with a plus-29. Hunt and Brunelle’s strong performances earned them All-New England honors.

The team’s combined 303 the second day was good enough to shift them into the top spot for the weekend, outpacing Assumption by six strokes.

The team scores for the championship went as follows: Saint Anselm (+49), Assumption (+55), American International (+64), Franklin Pierce (+65), Saint Rose (+72), and Bentley (+79). Franklin Pierce’s Dylan Pliss led all individuals with his two-day score of 147 (+3).

For Brunelle, it was only fitting that the fall season ended with a team victory. Asked about how it felt to pick up the team championship to wrap up the fall calendar he said: “It feels great. We started the season off with a win at Bowdoin, so it feels right to end the season the same way.

Hopefully, we can take that into the spring.” Continuing, he voiced his optimism about the team’s chances heading forward saying thus: “We have six young freshmen that played pretty well in the fall, so I think we have a lot of potential not only for the spring but in the years to come as well.”

After a less than stellar 2017-18 season, the solid first half play from this year’s squad has to be seen as a step in the right direction. Only time will tell if that momentum carries forward.