April 29, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Senior William Park holed out from 66 yards away and won the Patriot League Championship and helped Army to a second-place finish, Sunday at Bucknell Golf Club.
Park became the eighth Army golfer to win individual honors and was named the Most Valuable Golfer of the 54-hole championship. Park is the second consecutive Army golfer to win the top individual award following Matt Krembel’s victory a year ago.
Army was looking for its 11th league championship but came up three strokes short to Navy, which claimed the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.
Navy totaled an 878 for the 54-hole championship to edge Army (881). Lehigh (891) was third, followed by Bucknell (892), Lafayette (896), Colgate (905) and Holy Cross (935).
“We just didn’t make any putts,” said Army second-year golf coach Brian Watts. “We had a great game plan and stuck with it we just struggled around the greens and missed so many putts.”
Park earned all-Patriot League first-team honors as well and was joined on the all-star team by sophomore Anthony Kim, who tied for fourth. They are the 48th and 49th first-team All-Patriot League selections for Army.
“Right now, I don’t know if I should be happy,” said Park. “I played pretty well this weekend, I just wish our team had won. We’ve been working towards the championships and getting prepared mentally. Our last tournament (at North Carolina State) I was putting pretty well but didn’t play well. This weekend, I just wanted to come out and try to have fun. It could have been my last tournament so I just wanted to go out and have fun and have no regrets.”
Park trailed by a stroke heading into the final round but continued to utilize his solid short game to claim individual honors, helped by his birdie on the final hole. His shot a one-under-par 69 and a 211 for the championship.
He beat Bucknell’s Peter Scialabba by six strokes and will compete in the NCAA Regionals as an individual.
“We are so proud of William,” said Watts. “To finish your college career off with a Patriot League Championship and to give your team every opportunity to go back to NCAA Regionals is pretty special. He played solid gold all weekend. He hit a lot of greens and gave himself a lot of opportunities. On the first day, he drained some pretty long putts to keep his day going. Today, we focused on slowing him down and taking it one shot at a time.”
While Park claimed individual honors, Kim made a run up the leaderboard and tied for fourth with a 75. It is his second consecutive all-Patriot League accolade.
Freshman Robby Hill finished tied for 21st after a final-round 80 gave him a 229 for the weekend. Juniors Matt Philie and Eric Park tied for 23rd after shooting 231. Eric Park, William’s brother, fired a 73 on Sunday while Philie shot an 81. Brandon Baerwaldt tied for 28th when he shot a 79 for a weekend total of 233 as all six Army golfers finished in the top-28.
William Park will learn next week which NCAA Regional he will compete in. Last year, Park and the Black Knights drew the NCAA Tucson Regional.
2. ARMY 295-290-296—881
1. William Park, 69-73-69—211
T4. Anthony Kim, 73-72-75—220
T21. Robby Hill, 76-73-80—229
T23. Matt Philie, 78-72-81—231
T23. Eric Park, 81-77-73—231
T28. Brandon Baerwaldt, 77-77-79—233