Golf News for Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Tournaments

Arizona State captures National Collegiate Golf Championship

LAS VEGAS -- The National Collegiate Golf Championship, produced by Collegiate Golf Alliance and endorsed by the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association, crowned a new national champion on Sunday at Silverstone Golf Club.

This year's event had 144 golfers representing 39 different schools with Arizona State University's team of William Hoppel and Vinnie Iniguez emerging as the 2009 NCGC Overall Champions. Both are students in Professional Golf Management at ASU. Hoppel, in his junior year, is from Ahwatukee, AZ, and Iniguez, a senior, is a Phoenix native.

Despite starting the 2-man scramble round with bogies on the first two holes, the pair posted a score of 8-under to win the student division and become overall champions in the 8th annual event. The two felt the pressure at the start, but stated, "We have a lot of golf left, stop thinking so much, and just play golf". "We put our nose down and went after it," said Hoppel. "It was bread and butter, it was awesome," describes Iniguez of their turn around.

Coming in second place in the Student Division, posting a score of 65 were Will Brown and Chris Kendall representing Western Kentucky University. This was a first time for both participants to the city of Las Vegas, and even the first flight for one! Winning the Faculty & Staff Division for the third straight year was Kerry Geroux and Reggie Collier, representing University of Southern Mississippi. Geroux won the division last year with a different teammate, but was able to post the low score of 66 with new teammate Collier.

In second place in this division, only one stroke back, was the Western Kentucky team of Matt Morrison and Adam Whitt. The University of Southern Mississippi, always with a strong showing, also won in the Alumni & Community Division with teammates Mike Dowst and Todd Nace. The returning competitors posted a score of 65, one stroke better than the second place team from California State University San Bernardino, Mike Nakunz and Anthony Moore. This was the sixth year of competition for Nakunz in the NCGC, and although winning was his goal, he was proud to place second.

"I was extremely impressed at the level of competition, sportsmanship and camaraderie that developed throughout the weekend. The collegiate experience was well represented at this year's National Championship. "- Mike Munson, CEO and President, CGA

The weekend kicked off on Friday at Gameworks for the official pairings party hosted by almostGOLF and Saturday's activities began at Silverstone Golf Club with an almostGOLF short course and National Skills Challenge with an optional practice round. Winners in the Skills Challenge included overall champion Marty Stanovich of the University of West Florida. Coming in second and third were Clay Ferguson of Oklahoma State and Landon Gendreau of the University of North Dakota, respectively.

This is the first year of the CGA's newly formed relationship with The PGA of America. Sixteen Play Golf America Universities were represented in this year's championship. These schools had a strong showing, with ASU taking the overall crown, Western Kentucky placing second in the student division, and UNLV and UT Austin both placing 3rd.

"It was a real pleasure to attend the NCGC. It was very clear that the event is very well organized and managed by the CGA leaders - well done! This excellence was reflected in the positive reception from all the participants I had a chance to interact with and especially our Play Golf America University competitors. We are thrilled that the PGAU teams had a great showing in the tournament as well as having a great overall experience in Las Vegas. Thanks to the CGA for conducting a wonderful event." -Tom Templin, Purdue University, PGA Consultant

Sunday's championship round was followed by an awards banquet, where talk among the competitors included compliments about the course and the strength of competition. CGA sponsors in attendance included John Brey, Star Trac; Jackie Rodriguez, FRS Healthy Energy; Teddy Durkin, almostGOLF; Danielle Evans, Matrix Fitness; Wil Morrise, Advantage Fitness Products; and Dan Beach, The UZone. Also in attendance were PGA Consultant Tom Templin and NIRSA Representative John Campbell.

"You, your staff and the tournament's sponsors, are to be recognized for your continued commitment to excellence and dedication to providing golfing experiences for our students within our campus communities. The (CGA) National Championship allowed students, from across the country, to come together, compete and have life-long experiences. This tournament just further exemplifies the power of our profession and the meaningful outcomes that are provided within campus recreational sport activities" -John Campbell, NIRSA Vice President, Region VI.

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