GRAFTON, Mass. – Western New England won its third Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Golf Fall Qualifier in four years on Wednesday afternoon at the Highfields Golf and Country Club. The Golden Bears finished with a team score of 302 (+14) and, as the winner of the event, earn the right to host the CCC Golf Championship in the spring.
Nichols, Endicott, and Roger Williams were the three other teams to qualify for the spring championship.
Leading the way for Western New England was freshman Andrew Crean (Victor, N.Y.), who carded a 73 (+1) to earn medalist honors. The Golden Bears had two others finish in the top five as Ryan Zogby (New Hartford, N.Y.) finished third with a 75 (+3) and Tyler Sinacola (North Attleboro, Mass.) finished in a tie for fourth at 76 (+4). Sophomore Cameron Cox (Bowdoinham, Maine) was the fourth scorer for the Golden Bears, checking in at 78 (+6) and tying for 11th place.
The Bison finished second in this year's qualifier with a team score of 306 (+18). Three players – Patrick Hesseltine (Westford, Mass.), Reece McLeod (Leicester, Mass.), and Jacob Willis (Greenfield, Mass.) – all shot 76 (+4) to finish in a tie for fourth place. TJ Barber (Cornish, N.H.) was the Bision's fourth scorer at 78 (+6), which left him tied for 11th.
Endicott had a third place finish in this year's qualifier with a team score of 309 (+21). Senior Christopher Billings (Portland, Maine) led the Gulls, finishing as the individual runner-up with a 74 (+2). Classmate Carter Knox (Hinesburg, Vt.) was second on the team with a plus-five 77, followed by Kenneth Tuttle (Gorham, Maine) who turned in a 78 (+6). Senior Connor Brown (Granby, Conn.) finished with a score of 80 (+8) and was Endicott's fourth scorer.
Roger Williams earned the fourth championship slot by the slimmest of margins, besting Wentworth by a single stroke with a team score of 322 (+34). Setting the pace for the Hawks was Ryan Burrill (Southington, Conn.) who tied for fourth with a plus-four 76. Freshmen Terry Baker (Fiskdale, Mass.) and Ben DeFelice (Warwick, R.I.) were second and third on the team as they turned in performances of 79 (+7) and 81 (+9), respectively. Justin Hayes' (Bedford, N.H.) 86 (+14) made him the fourth Hawks' scorer.
Wentworth was the fifth place team for the third year in a row, this time missing the cut by a single stroke. The Leopards, which registered a 323 (+35) team score, were led by Sancho Rodriguez (San Roque, Spain) who shot 77 (+5) and tied for ninth place overall. The University of New England scored 335 (+47) and were paced by Hunter Drew (Keene, N.H.) who tied for 16th with a score of 80 (+8).
The 2018 Fall Qualifier was also the first CCC event for Gordon, which participated as an exhibition team. The Fighting Scots will enter championship contention when the program earns varsity status in the coming years.
The CCC Golf Championship is scheduled to take place this spring on Saturday and Sunday April, 27-28 at a site to be determined by Western New England. The winner of the two-day event will be named the 2019 CCC Golf Champion and earn the league's automatic qualifier into the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.