Golf Takes Third, Spencer Named Freshman of the Year

(Photo courtesy of Redlands Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Redlands Athletics)

BEAUMONT, Calif. — The University of La Verne golf team's seven-year reign has come to an end.

The Leopards, who went into the third and final round of the 2014 SCIAC Championships just one shot behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, could not overcome tough course conditions and settled for third place in the final standings.

CMS took both the team title and the individual title, with Bradley Shigezawa claiming the medalist honors for the second year in a row.

In seven SCIAC rounds, the Leopards finished with a total of 2,070 shots, seven behind CMS. Second-place Redlands had 2,069.

In an 180-degree reversal from the first two days of the tournament, the final day saw constant, swirling 30 mph winds that wreaked havoc on the course. No player shot under par on the final day and Shigezawa's three-over 75 was the lowest score of the day.

Alec Spencer, who shot to the top of the leaderboard on the first day with a four-under 68 while matching the defending national champion Shigezawa stroke-for-stroke in the first two rounds, was named the 2014 Ken Sherman Freshman of the Year. Spencer shot an even 72 in round two, but stumbled just as everyone did in the final round and finished with a seven-over 223 on the tournament, which was still good enough for third place overall.

Spencer is a strong candidate for West Region and national freshman of the year as well.

Paul Gomez was arguably the most clutch player for La Verne in the tournament. Whenever either the Stags or the Bulldogs looked as if they would break the scoring open, the senior came through with a huge shot after another to keep the Leopards within striking distance. Gomez recorded two eagles in round two and another one at the eighth in the final round.

Kelby Scharmann battled both the wind and the flu. The junior, who won SCIAC No. 2, shot a 12-over 84 in round two, but still posted a top-10 finish tied at eighth overall with a 15-over 231.

Keven Holliday at 24-over 240 rounded our La Verne's scoring. In the awards ceremony after the conclusion of the tournament, Holliday received the Jesse Clark Sportsmanship Award voted by the players in the conference. The award is given out to the golfer that best demonstrates good
 sportsmanship and fair play on the course.

Andre Bedard came in to the clubhouse with a total of 241 (+25) and Trent Twamley finished at 243 (+27).

La Verne now awaits a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship on May 13-16 held at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.

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