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On March 13-14, six NCAA Division II and III golf teams and one NAIA team played in the second annual St. James Plantation Collegiate Invitational at the Founders Club. Two other schools played elsewhere to make the total nine.
“The inaugural tournament started out in 2009 with six colleges and grew to nine this year,” said John Brown, general manger of The Clubs at St. James Plantation. “I coached golf for 15 years at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I still stay in touch with some of the same coaches out here today from Pennsylvania. That is how this tournament got started, by working with them. It would not be possible to organize this huge event without the great support from our St. James community, management staff, Troon Golf and the course maintenance crew. We hope to continue this successful event annually.”
In addition to the nine college teams, six young men from five Waccamaw Conference high schools were selected to participate. Their team was called the Brunswick County All-Stars. They played as two-threesomes, starting on the back nine, separate from the men’s teams, who started on the front nine, to satisfy NCAA rules. This was the first time these young men experienced the atmosphere of a two-day college tournament.
“It was special to have these all-star golfers from local high schools come here this weekend,” Brown said. “The course was specifically set up for this two-day weekend college tournament, with the practice round being held on Friday. They had to deal with long tee boxes set for almost 7,000 yards and pins tucked in tight behind the bunkers. The undulating, fast greens and gusty wind conditions really made it tough for them. They really got a taste of what playing at the next level is all about. Plus, they got to see Gavin Smith of IUP, who was the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference men’s golf Player of the Year and an NCAA individual champion in 2009.”
The Brunswick County All-Stars team, organized by Rick Quashne (assistant golf coach at North Brunswick), shot 676. The individual scores were Dalton Gore 156 (South Brunswick), Blake Baysden 170 (West Bladen), Greg Hensley 172 (West Brunswick), Hackney Deans 184 (Whiteville), Harrison Taylor 186 (West Brunswick) and Thomas Wroblewski 191 (North Brunswick). Three of the youth are Eagle-certified participants in The First Tee of Brunswick County.
The men’s team scores were Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 608; California University of Pennsylvania, 647; West Chester University, 653; University of Charleston, 655; Clarion University, 660; Fairleigh Dickinson University, 665; and Goldey-Beacom College, 679.
The women’s team scores were Fairleigh Dickinson University, 700, and West Chester University. 828. The top male was Smith, 171, and the top female was Lisa Warrilow, 171, of FDU.