The Pioneers took 12th place in the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships
Although they fell short of making the top eight they were striving for, the Cal State East Bay men’s golf team completed its 2017 historic season with a new benchmark for Pioneer Athletics: 12th place at the NCAA Division II National Tournament, the highest finish of any team since the university rejoined the organization.
The veteran Cal State East Bay team, which includes the same five players who captured the university’s first California Collegiate Athletic Association Golf Championship last year, placed third at NCAA Regionals this year, earning the team a shot at the Division II title in Florida.
“It was disappointing because it really felt like we had an opportunity to get to the eight-team finale and get a chance to play some head-to-head matches, but [we] did everything we could to get there,” said Coach Alan Sue, the CCAA Coach of the Year. “But this is not a one-and-done. We’ll be making a run at nationals in the future.”
To finish out their championship play, the Pioneers shot 301 (+21) as a team in the final round on May 24, a day when weather conditions were reportedly tough and scores across all competitors on the Watson Course at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Florida were high. The team ended the tournament 36 strokes behind first-place Barry University, which is now competing in the final match play.
For individual highlights, senior Chad Hall finished just two strokes over par, was No. 1 in the field on par-4 holes, where he totaled four strokes under par, and he also finished with the second-most total birdies (11) of all 108 golfers on the course. Hall finished the tournament in sixth place.
Fellow senior Adam Stone, the CCAA Men’s Golf Player of the Year, nabbed his ninth top-10 finish of the season and made par 41 times across the tournament — the most of any other player. Stone tied for 10th place.
Rounding out the team, senior Owen Hutchison finished 17 over par for a share of 66th place, and sophomore Jonathan Mulvaney and senior Joel Keylor both tied for their final rankings of 100th and 102nd, respectively.
“The success that this group has had over the past couple of years will set the bar going forward,” Sue said. “There’s younger players who’ve been able to witness what they’ve accomplished and learn from how they did it. So, I think these guys helped set expectations and raise the bar for the current and returning players. I feel really confident in the returning players and some of the new guys we have coming in.”