Former Knights win national championship with SMWC
Times Staff Report
STATE COLLEGE, Penn. - High expectations were set for the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College men’s golf team and, in a sense, nothing short of a win at the 2018 USCAA Men’s Golf National Championships would be acceptable. SMWC claimed its first USCAA National Title in program history and did so in a dominating fashion. The Pomeroys shot its best 36-hole team score of the season as they finished Day 2 with a 569 (-2). Individually, former Sullivan High School standout Colton Kuppler finished as the USCAA Individual National Champion Runner-Up with a two-day score of 138 (-6). Benjamin Myers finished in third place shooting a 139 (-5) and Nathan Higbie tied for sixth place with a 144 (E).
“This group of guys fought hard to win this tournament. Even with the lead heading into today, there was a great deal of pressure on them to hold it,” head coach Abe Nasser said. “They played with guts and determination. I was impressed by their maturity in the face of such a challenge.”
Former Northview High School standouts Samuel Grimes and Blake Bennett were each a part of the championship for the Pomeroys. Grimes carded the fourth-best team score with his 148 (+4), which garnered him a 18th-place finish. Bennett shot a +9 total of 153 over two days and was tied for 32nd overall in the tourney.
The Pomeroys came out on top of the field of 24 teams after shooting a team total of 283 to lead by eight strokes on day one. The round was the best 18-hole team score in school history and put them at five-under-par for the opening round. The Pomeroys led the 2017 USCAA National Champion SUNY Delphi team by eight strokes after round one. Kuppler and Myers each led SMWC with a two-under-par score of 70 with Nathan Higbie shooting 71 and Grimes at even par with a 72. Sean Barron of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry was the individual winner with a seven-under-par score of 137 to edge out Kuppler by one stroke.
“It feels incredible. I’m very proud of how the team did today and how we held it together even through the struggles,” Kuppler said. “We knew that we could win this week but to play the way we did is just a great feeling.”