SUTTON, Mass. – Following the first day of competition at the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Golf Championship, defending GNAC champion Johnson & Wales University (RI) is currently in the lead with a team total of 308 after a rainy Saturday from Blackstone National Golf Club in Sutton, Mass.
The Wildcats will look to capture back-to-back league crowns – a feat they have not accomplished in a decade – when play resumes for all nine programs at 8:30 AM on Sunday morning. The winning team will receive the GNAC's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament next spring.
Saint Joseph's sits in sixth place with a 330 team card after the first round, as senior Cam Letourneau (Hebron, Maine) carded an 80, senior Adam Batchelder (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) shot an 82, senior Adam Hachey (Winthrop, Maine) and junior Brendan Donovan (Auburn, Maine) both turned in an 84, and junior Tyler Johnson (Windham, Maine) posted an 86.
JWU sophomore Claudio Soukamneuth was the low-man for the Wildcats, shooting a 76 to sit in second place overall. JWU junior Alex Parente and sophomore Ryan Malloy sit in a tie for third overall with matching cards of 77 after Round One, while sophomore Matt Daley is tied for fifth with a 78.
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Tom Sheran is the individual leader entering Sunday, as the Rhode Island College transfer shot par on Saturday, carding a stellar 72 amidst the poor conditions. Three years ago, Sheran was named the GNAC Golfer and Rookie of the Year as a member of the Anchormen after he earned individual medalist honors (78-77—155) in the 2015 GNAC Championship at Allendale Country Club as a freshman. Sheron would become the first-ever two-time GNAC Championship individual medalist.
Suffolk University currently sits in second place behind JWU with a team total of 315, as the Rams had an impressive Saturday showing at Blackstone. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is currently third with a 319, while the University of Southern Maine and host Worcester State University are tied for fourth (321). For the complete team standings, please see below.
Pacing Suffolk was junior Andrew Harper with a 78, placing him in a four-way tie for fifth overall with RIC junior Tyler Boisclair, Southern Maine junior Tristan Dundas, and JWU's Daley.
The Rams also had three junior student-athletes – Owen Boggini, Elias Sachs and Demetri Stamoulis – card 79s to tie for ninth overall. Worcester State freshmen Jacob Poitras and Brodie Coughlin also shot matching 79s on Saturday.
At the conclusion of play on Sunday, the event's individual medalist will be named the 2018 GNAC Golfer of the Year, while the first-year player with the lowest score will automatically be named the GNAC Rookie of the Year. The lowest five scores will be selected to the 2018 GNAC All-Conference Team.
Sunday's forecast in Sutton, Mass. calls for clear weather with temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s.
Team Standings - Day One
1. Johnson & Wales – 308 +20
2. Suffolk – 315 +27
3. UMass Dartmouth – 319 +31
T4. Southern Maine – 321 +33
T4. Worcester State – 321 +33
6. Saint Joseph's (Maine) – 330 +42
7. Rhode Island Coll. – 335 +47
8. Emmanuel – 368 +80
9. Albertus Magnus – 406 +118
THANKS IN LARGE PART TO GNAC SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE