STATE COLLEGE, PA. – In their first USCAA championship event, Bluefield State College topped the field with a 612 (+36) two-day total to secure the 2016 USCAA Golf National Championship. The Blues led by 16 strokes after day one, building enough of a lead to withstand outstanding second day rounds from SUNY Canton and Cleary University to secure the victory.
The 2016 USCAA Golf National Championships featured 18 total teams and a handful of additional individuals fighting for honors at Penn State University’s Blue Course in State College, PA. On the strength of a 306 on day two, SUNY Canton captured second place in the tournament while last year’s National Champion, Cleary University, finished third with a score of 628.
The 2016 USCAA Golf National Championship Medalist was Kevin Kim (-1) from Berea College. A First-Team All-American from 2015, Kim returned to State College and improved his two day total by 12 strokes to claim the individual championship. Penn State Lehigh Valley’s Nick Engelman (+2) and SUNY Canton’s Nolan Reid (+2) tied for second with a 146 two-day score. For Engelman, this was his first trip to the USCAA Golf National Championship while Reid finishes his fourth and final trip to State College, finishing higher in each appearance.
Blake Hash from Bluefield State College finished fourth with a 148 (+4), the low scorer on the National Championship team. Teammate Kirk Collins placed sixth overall with a two round total of 151, giving the Blues two USCAA First-Team All-Americans. Rounding out the Golf First-Team All-Americans, given to the top seven individuals, were Trevor Spagnoletti of Cleary University (fifth place), Sean Baron of SUNY-ESF and Austin Green of Penn State Mont Alto (tied for seventh).
Rounding out the top five in the team scoring were Berea College in fourth and Penn State Mont Alto, the Penn State University Athletic Conference champion, in fifth.
The post-round awards ceremony on Tuesday was highlighted by the announcement of the 2016 Student-Athlete and Coach of the Year. For the first time, the USCAA awarded Co-Student-Athlete’s of the Year. Nolan Reid of SUNY-Canton and Madison Smith of Cleary University shared the honor. Both Reid and Smith were recognized as leaders on their respective teams with outstanding academic marks and heralded golf careers for their institutions.
The 2016 USCAA Golf Coach of the Year was bestowed upon Bill Burke from Penn State Mont Alto. The longtime Mont Alto coach, Burke led his team to another PSUAC Conference Championship this season and a fifth place standing in the USCAA Golf National Championships after finishing 12th in last year’s tournament. The Lions did not lose a regular season match this fall.
In the third USCAA Women’s Golf Invitational, played as part of the USCAA Golf National Championship, Cleary University’s Madison Smith took home medalist honors as the top female golfer on the course.
Woman’s Golf Invitational Medalist
Madison Smith, Cleary University
Skills Competition Winners
Putting – Mitch Cleary, Cleary University
Chipping – John Hawley, Penn State Hazleton
Long Drive – Ryan Florak, SUNY Delhi
2016 USCAA Golf Student-Athlete of the Year
Madison Smith, Cleary University
Nolan Reid, SUNY-Canton
2016 USCAA Golf Coach of the Year
Bill Burke, Penn State Mont Alto