Tigers qualify for NCAA Golf Championships

Published 5:43 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

The nationally-ranked No. 18 Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) golf team has earned automatic qualification to the 2022 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships on May 10-13, a 72-hole championship at the Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida. The Tigers are among the 43 teams and six individuals invited, and one of 10 schools earning invitations from Region 4. This will be the program’s eighth overall trip to the national championship, and its second in three years, following a 12th-place finish in 2019.

“Winning the ODAC championship is a goal we have each year, but we also have the goal to compete at the NCAA Championship,” said fifth-year head coach Chad Eisele. “We hope to use the momentum that we have built over the last three tournaments and make a run at the national title.”

H-SC finished the regular season with a 296.48 team scoring average through nine tournaments and 25 rounds. The Tigers recently won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship (282-281-283–846) to gain their automate entry, and had five Top Five, six Top 10 and nine Top 20 team finishes this year. H-SC has posted low rounds of 274 for 18 holes, 563 for 36 holes and 846 for 54 holes.

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Seniors Hunter Martin and John Hatcher Ferguson will lead the Tigers at the national championship. The fourth-year duo were each First Team All-ODAC selections this year, as Martin averaged 73.95 through eight tournaments and 22 rounds, and Ferguson averaged 73.96 through nine events and 25 rounds. Martin was the Individual Champion for the second consecutive year at the recent ODAC Championship, posting 70-69-69–208, establishing a new ODAC Championship 54-hole record, as well.

Coach Eisele, the ODAC Coach of the Year for the third time in four years, will complete his lineup at the nationals with Third Team All-ODAC honoree and junior Trevor Elliott (76.42, 24 rounds), classmate Alex Rubino (76.25, 24 rounds) and sophomore Meade Slonaker (75.30, 20 rounds).

Prior to 2019, H-SC had previously advanced to the national tournament in 1973 and 1974, when it was known as the NCAA Small College Championships, as well as in 1975, 1976, 1979 and 1994 in Division III. The Tigers were the National Runner-Up in 1975 (909), when Charles Baskervill ‘75 was the individual medalist (national champion) (223). H-SC hosted the event in 1979 at the Brandermill Country Club in Midlothian, and the Tigers had two individuals (Brian Burt-fifth, Rick O’Connell) receive invitations in 2014. Martin (76-85-79-72–312) tied for 68th in 2019, while Ferguson (79-77-75-83–314) tied for 72nd.

The only other Virginia schools earning an invitation to this year’s championships are ODAC Tournament runners-up Washington and Lee University, and Christopher Newport University-each earning an at-large invitation, while Eddie Coffren V of the University of Lynchburg is one of the six individuals. After 36 holes of competition, the field will be cut to the top 18 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams.