CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Navy's Brian Crum, Billy Hurley and Nick Rogers swept the top-three individual spots and led the Mids to their fourth Patriot League Golf Championship in five years. Navy held a 15-stroke lead over Lehigh and Army after the first-27 holes and more than doubled it as the Mids' three-round score of 878 outdistanced second-place Lehigh by 31 strokes.
Army finished third with a 916, followed by Lafayette (923), Bucknell (938), American (941), Colgate (979) and Holy Cross (1007) at the par 72 Saucon Valley Country Club in Center Valley, Pa. Not only was Navy the only team to shoot under 300 all three days, only one other team managed to shoot under 300 - that being Lehigh in the second round with a 298.
'I am thrilled for our team,' said Navy head coach Pat Owen. 'This is a great reward for the hard work these guys have put in not just this year, but for guys like Brian (Crum) and Nick (Rogers), four years of hard work. We are looking forward to competing in the NCAA Regionals against some of the best golfers in the country.'
Crum won his third individual title of the year, turning in a 4-under par 212 to outdistance teammate Hurley by three strokes. Crum, who has posted a pair of wins and a second-place finish in his last-three tournaments saved his best for last, posting a final-round 4-under par 68. His 212 finished as the sixth-best individual performance in Patriot League Championship history.
Hurley's 1-under par 215 marked the 10th-best effort in league history. After posting a 5-under par 67 in the second round, Hurley had a four-stroke advantage heading into the final 18 holes of the tourney. His 3-over par 75, however, fell short of Crum's final-round 68 and was forced to settle for second for the third-straight meet this spring.
Rogers, one of only two seniors (Crum) on the Navy squad moved up from eighth to finish third with a 7-over par 223. Rogers struggled in the first round with a 5-over par 77, but his even par in the second set of 18 put him back in the hunt. The St. Mary's High School product recorded a 2-over par 74 in the final round to move past Army's Pete Phipps and give Navy a sweep of the top-three positions.
Junior Joey Kistler (Savannah, Ga.) had a strong performance, finishing 10th with a 13-over par 229. Despite posting an 80 in the second round, he rebounded nicely to produce his best 18 holes of the tournament with a 2-over par 74 and a three-round total of 229.
Sophomore B.J. Brumley (Bartlesville, Okla.) tied for 27th in his first Patriot League Championship appearance with a 24-over par 240, while fellow sophomore Braxton Mashburn (Memphis, Tenn.) placed 39th with a 36-over par 252.
Crum, who was named the MVP of the tournament, earned All-Patriot League recognition, as did Hurley, Rogers and Kistler for finishing among the top 10. Meanwhile, Crum is the fourth Navy player to claim the individual championship, joining All-American Aaron Wright (1997), Pete Lauder (1998) and Joel Almquist (2000).
Navy will play in the NCAA Regionals May 14-17 at a site to be announced at a later time - either at Auburn, Kansas State or Washington.
Pl. School Scores Pl.
1 Navy 297-290-291 ' 878 +14
2 Lehigh 307-298-304 ' 909 +45
3 Army 304-307-305 ' 916 +52
4 Lafayette 315-305-303 ' 923 +59
5 Bucknell 319-310-309 ' 938 +74
6 American 311-317-313 ' 941 +77
7 Colgate 336-314-329 ' 979 +115
8 Holy Cross 341-336-330 ' 1007 +143