SUTTON, Mass. – For the second year in a row, Johnson & Wales University (RI) ran away with the GNAC Men's Golf Championship on the final 18 holes, as the Wildcats won their sixth-ever conference championship with a winning score of 619 at Blackstone National Golf Course.
As a result, JWU earns the conference's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships, which will take place May 14-17 in Nicholasville, Kentucky. It marks the first time since 2008-09 the program has won back-to-back GNAC titles.
Saint Joseph's College finished sixth with a 661 (329-332) team card and was led by senior Cam Letourneau (Hebron, Maine), who placed fifth overall with a 157 (80-77) score en route to earning All-Conference accolades. Senior Adam Batchelder (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) tied for 16th with a 164 (81-83) card while senior Adam Hachey (Winthrop, Maine) was 26th (169, 84-85), junior Brendan Donovan (Auburn, Maine) placed 29th (172, 84-88), and junior Tyler Johnson (Windham, Maine) finished 30th (173, 86-87).
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Tom Sheran became the first-ever two-time GNAC Championship individual medalist, shooting a 72-73--145 to win the 36-hole event by a cool seven strokes. For his efforts, Sheran was automatically named the 2018 GNAC Player of the Year. A Rhode Island College transfer, Sheran three years ago was named the GNAC Golfer/Rookie of the Year as an RIC student-athlete after he won the 2015 GNAC Championship at Allendale Country Club. Coincidentally, UMass Dartmouth hosted the 2015 GNAC Championship under then and current head coach Joel Baptista.
Championship host Worcester State University saw its freshman Brodie Coughlin finish 10th overall with a 79-80--159, which was the lowest score by a first-year GNAC player. As a result, Coughlin earned GNAC Rookie of the Year honors under head coach Mark Gurski.
Johnson & Wales backed up its Saturday opening round of 308 with a 311 on Sunday. Led by head coach Lou Parente, the Wildcats finished 13 strokes ahead of second-place UMass Dartmouth. Four Wildcats earned All-GNAC honors by finishing in the top five. Leading the way was sophomore Claudio Soukamneuth in second place at 152 (76-76). Two spots back was junior Alex Parente with a 155 (77-78). Junior Mac Patch and sophomore Ryan Malloy and each tied for fifth at 157.
Johnson & Wales, along with other GNAC programs, will wrap up the fall campaign next week when it travels to the NEIGA Championship, Oct. 21-22, at the Captains Golf Course on Cape Cod. The conference office will announce its 2018 Coach of the Year and All-Sportsmanship selections later next week.
Information Provided by JWU + Worcester State Athletics Communications.
2018 GNAC All-Conference Team (lowest five scores)
1. Tom Sheran, UMass Dartmouth: 72-73--145
2. Claudio Soukamneuth, Johnson & Wales: 76-76--152
3. Tristan Dundas, Southern Maine: 78-76--154
4. Alex Parente, Johnson & Wales: 77-78--155
T5. Cameron Letourneau, Saint Joseph's (Maine): 80-77--157
T5. Tyler Boisclair, RIC: 78-79--157
T5. Owen Boggini, Suffolk: 79-78--157
T5. Stephen Mac Patch, Johnson & Wales: 80-77--157
T5. Ryan Malloy, Johnson & Wales: 77-80--157
GNAC Golfer of the Year/Medalist - Tom Sheran, UMass Dartmouth
GNAC Rookie of the Year - Brodie Coughlin, Worcester State
1. Johnson & Wales: 308-311--619
2. UMass Dartmouth: 319-313--632
3. Southern Maine: 321-322--643
4. Suffolk: 315-331--646
5. Worcester State: 321-329--650
6. Saint Joseph's (Maine): 329-332--661
7. RIC: 335-335--670
8. Emmanuel: 368-347--715
9. Albertus Magnus: 406-395--801