MIDDLETOWN, R.I. -- Rhode Island senior David Spitz sank a 4-foot putt on the 18th hole that gave the University of Rhode Island the 2004 Atlantic 10 Championship at Newport National Golf Club on Saturday.
It was Rhode Island's second Atlantic 10 title in the last three years and fourth in the last six. The Rams have won six Atlantic 10 titles in school history, five of which have come under head coach Tom Drennan.
Spitz edged Xavier's Andy Pope by one-stroke for the round to give the Rams the team championship, but the two players went to a playoff to decide the individual championship, and Pope earned that honor after finishing as the runner-up in 2003.
The two teams were tied with four of their five players already in the clubhouse, and Spitz held a one-stroke lead over Pope heading into the 18th hole. Spitz sank the four-foot putt to par the hole and finish with a 2-over par 74 on the round. Pope also made par, but finished with a 3-over 75 on the day.
The Rams won the tournament with a three-round total of 883 (294-294-295) and defending champion Xavier finished at 884 (297-290-297). Richmond shot a 2-under 286 on the final day to finish third with an 887 (299-302-286).
Richmond's Kyle Hess and Xavier's Jason Kokrak tied for third with 219s. Rhode Island junior Kenneth Fahey (Clifden, Ireland) placed fifth with a 220 (77-72-71) and Richmond's Steve Lessing took sixth with a 222 (76-75-71). The top six finishers each earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team.
Freshman Ben Spitz (Norwell, Mass.) finished in a tie for 12th with a 226 (74-75-77) and senior Ben Tuthill (Rumford, R.I.) was tied for 14th with a 227 (75-79-73). Senior James Clarke (N. Belfast, Ireland) tied for 18th at 229 (77-73-79).
Fordham's Paul Dillon was named the conference's Coach of the Year after leading his team to a fourth-place finish, its highest finish ever in the Atlantic 10. Xavier's Jason Kokrak was named the Most Outstanding Rookie for his third place finish.
1. Rhode Island 883
2. Xavier 884
3. Richmond 887
4. Fordham 917
5. Saint Joseph's 923
6. Dayton 924
6. Temple 924
8. George Washington 929
9. St. Bonaventure 933
10. Duquesne 941
11. La Salle 958
Individual Champion - Andy Pope, Xavier
Coach of the Year - Paul Dillon, Fordham
Most Outstanding Rookie - Jason Kokrak
Andy Pope, Xavier
David Spitz, Rhode Island
Kyle Hess, Richmond
Jason Kokrak, Xavier
Kenneth Fahey, Rhode Island
Steve Lessing, Richmond