Meridian Star

Sports

April 24, 2014

EMCC golfer places second in state tournament

WIGGINS —       WIGGINS – Highlighted by Chase Chitwood’s tournament-best, 4-under-par 68 during Wednesday’s final round, the East Mississippi Community College men’s golf team finished fourth at this week’s MACJC State Golf Championship held at Pine Burr Country Club.

    A freshman from Jessieville, Ark., Chitwood (79-68—147) made up 10 strokes on first-round leader Danny De Los Santos, of Mississippi Gulf Coast, by firing a 5-under-par 31 on the back nine during Wednesday’s final round, which included four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 17th hole.  De Los Santos (69-78—147) birdied the first playoff hole against Chitwood to claim individual medalist honors on the 6,296-yard, par-72 layout.  Both golfers were joined on the MACJC All-Tournament Team by Hayes Weathersby of MGCCC (74-74—148), Copiah-Lincoln’s Connor Barnes (75-74—149) and Riley Baggett from Northwest Mississippi (77-72—149).    

    Bettering their opening-round 316 by 21 shots with Wednesday’s 295, head coach Dale Peay’s EMCC Lions totaled 611 to finish just five strokes behind team champion Meridian Community College (315-291—606), who overcame a 10-stroke, first-round deficit to edge host Mississippi Gulf Coast (305-302—607) by a single shot.      Reigning MACJC state champion Copiah-Lincoln (312-297—609) finished three strokes off the pace, while Northwest Mississippi (311-304—615) placed fifth to separate the top five teams by a total of just nine strokes.

    With their fourth-place team finish, the EMCC Lions earned their fifth regional appearance in six years when regional play takes place next week in Wesson.  This year’s NJCAA Region 23 Golf Championship, hosted by Copiah-Lincoln, will be held May 3-4 at Wolf Hollow Golf Club.     

    Along with Chitwood’s runner-up finish, fellow EMCC freshmen Hunter Harmon (77-74—151) and Steven Eilders (78-74—152) completed the two-day event in eighth place and tied for ninth, respectively, to give the Lions three golfers among the top 11 individual finishers.  Harmon, from Calhoun Academy, improved three strokes with his final-round 74, while Eilders, a Ridgeland product, also shot a 2-over-par 74 Wednesday to better his opening-day score by four strokes.

    Additionally, EMCC’s Harmon made the MACJC’s All-State Second Team based on cumulative stroke average for the entire season, including this week’s MACJC State Golf Championship.

    Rounding out East Mississippi’s scorecard this week were Trent Humber (82-79—161) and John Pittman (88-87—175), who tied for 29th and 48th place, respectively.

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