September 4, 2011

Men's Golf Set to Open Fall Season at Kiawah Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Cunha, sjcunh2033@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia men's golf team opens its Fall schedule Monday, September 5, as they travel to South Carolina to take part in the eighth annual USCA Kiawah Island Intercollegiate at Cougar Point Golf Club.

In his second season as head coach, Tom Fowler led the Saints to an 11th place finish at the Peach Belt Conference Championships and this year expectations are high as North Georgia returns six of their top seven scorer's from last season.

Leading the way for the Saints during the 2011-12 campaign is senior Howard Duffin. Duffin played in 22 rounds a year ago and averaged a team best 76.7. His finest performance of the season came at the Will Wilson NCAA SE Regional Preview where he followed up an opening round 77 with an even-par 70 and a one-over-par 71 to finish the event in a tie for ninth place. The 70 was the lowest mark of the year for the Saints. Duffin's best overall finish came at the Mountain Lion Fall Invitational and the Coastal Georgia Men's Winter Invitational where he logged a pair of 4th place finishes.

Bryson Womack who averaged 76.8 last season, competed in 16 rounds for the Saints. Womack had several scores of note last season. He shot 71 on two separate occasions, first at the Will Wilson NCAA SE Regional Preview and then again later in the season at the Lander Bearcat Classic. Womack's best overall finish came when he won the Mountain Lion Fall Invitational.

Grant Rish and Matt Rochlin also return for North Georgia. Rish played in 22 rounds last year averaging a score of 79.4. Rish shot his season-low of 73 in the first round of the AASU Pirate Invitational. His best overall finish came in his second ever college tournament when he finished sixth at the Piedmont College Fall Invitational. Rochlin played in 13 rounds, averaging 81.2 and was named to the Peach Belt All-Academic team. Rochlin's low score of the year came in the Outback Steakhouse Intercollegiate where he shot a 75, which was good for a third-place tie.

To go along with his returning players, Fowler brought in three recruits who look poised to see tournament action this year. Leading the way for the Freshman is Aaron George, a 2010 State Runner-up and three-time All-State player, Will Brackett the 2011 Cherokee Player-of-the-Year and Wesley Bearden.

Last year at Kiawah Island, the Saints looked primed for a run after day one sitting in 12th place, but some day two surges from other contenders saw North Georgia finish the event in 18th place. The Saints ended the tournament with a total team score of 619 (304-315) to conclude the two-day event at 43-over-par. Individually at Kiawah last year, Duffin concluded his strong tournament with a one-over-par 73 to finish the event at three-over-par with a 147 (74-73). His final round 73 helped him finish in a tie for 13 place overall with 10 other players. Following Duffin, were Womack and Rish. Womack shot a 156 (76-80) to finish in a tie for 71st place. His 12-over-par performance was one stroke ahead of Rish who finished in a tie for 74th place with a 157 (79-78).

The USCA Kiawah Island Intercollegiate is located in Kiawah, South Carolina. The eighth annual Kiawah Island Intercollegiate will be contested at the 6,875 yard, par 72 Cougar Point Golf Course designed by Gary Player.

The course was rated at "4.5 stars" by Golf Digest and the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association recently rated the Cougar Point Golf Course the "Golf Course of the Year." There are 17 teams in this year's field, five of which are from Peach Belt Conference.

The tournament will be a two-round, 36-hole event (18 each day). Action is slated to get underway at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Monday, September 5. You can follow live scoring for the event on Golfstat.com as the Saints shoot to dethrone defending champion Barton.

For updates on the men's golf team throughout the week be sure to log on to Saintssports.com and follow us on Twitter @SaintsSports.