FOLEY, Ala. – Mississippi Gulf Coast's five-man golf team will be part of more than 130 of the nation's best junior college golfers will be representing nearly 40 community colleges at the NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship, which will be played at GlenLakes Golf Club on May 21-24.
Coach Tommy Snell's team finished second last year in Mesa, Ariz., where Colin Troxler won the individual championship.
The tournament is being hosted by Foley Sports Tourism, with assistance provided by GlenLakes and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Sponsors are Riviera Utilities and DADS Roofing.
"We are thrilled to partner with the NJCAA, and work with our GlenLakes Golf Club as our host site to host this prestigious collegiate event," said Don Dukemineer, Deputy Director of Sports Tourism, Foley Sports Tourism. "We look forward to welcoming the teams, players, coaches and families to Foley."
The 72-hole event is being played at GlenLake's Vista Dunes course, a 6,938-yard, par-72 course designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert von Hagge. It's a Scottish links-style course featuring strategic mounding, extensive bunkering and undulating fairways and greens.
"The golf course has so much character, and there's so much knowledge to be gained during practice rounds and seeing it before," course professional David Musial said. "The Vista and Dunes are a good complement. The Vista is a little bit more wide open, and the Dunes is very challenging with the amount of hills and hazards."
A 40-person group of members bought the course in 2013 and have elevated the facilities. A 10,000-square foot practice green opened in 2016.
Musial said GlenLakes course superintendent William Dabney and his staff have been hard at work preparing the championship 18 for the field. The Dunes were built in the early 1990, and The Vista nine holes were opened a few years later.
"The course is in great shape," Musial said. "William's done a great job with it."
There are 18 teams eligible for the national championship, with 18 players representing 12 other schools
The golfers will participate in two days of practice rounds starting Saturday, May 19. The tournament banquet will take place at the Wolf Bay Lodge in Foley at 6 p.m. on May 20. The banquet will include an awards ceremony where PING All-Americans and inductees into the NJCAA Men's Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame will be honored.
Live stats will be available at Golfstat: http://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=participants&tid=13452
There has been a pair of tournaments during the academic year that teams have traveled to Foley to play in. The players have impressed Musial with their abilities.
"We had a fall preview event and then a spring invitational," he said. "Both of those tournaments had windy and cool conditions. The number of players that could shoot par or better was phenomenal. It's a hard setup from the back tees."
GlenLakes has also seen teams make other trips in to play during Christmas break and spring break, expanding the number of visitors who have come to Foley.
They'll get another influx of new visitors next week when the participating squads get into town, followed by their caravans of families and fans.
"GlenLakes Golf Club is a beautiful course that highlights the capabilities our community offers to events," Dukemineer said. "We can't wait for the teams to experience Foley at its finest."
Past NJCAA Division II National Champions
1990 Catawba Valley (NC)
1991 Laramie County (WY)
1992 Laramie County (WY)
1993 Pensacola (FL)
1994 Tyler (TX)
1995 Tyler (TX)
1996 Tyler (TX)
1997 Tyler (TX)
1998 Tyler (TX)
1999 Shelton State (AL)
2000 Indian Hills (IA)
2001 Temple (TX)
2002 Shelton State (AL)
2003 Tyler (TX)
2004 South Mountain (AZ)
2005 Darton (GA)
2006 Darton (GA)
2007 Darton (GA)
2008 Tyler (TX)
2009 John A Logan (IL)
2010 South Mountain (AZ)
2011 John A. Logan (IL)
2012 South Mountain (AZ)
2013 South Mountain (AZ)
2014 Walters State (TN)
2015 South Mountain (AZ)
2016 South Mountain (AZ)
2017 Mesa (AZ)
Past NJCAA Division II Individual National Champions
1990 Evan DeWulf, Kalamazoo Valley (MI) – 300
1991 Keith Whitecotten, Laramie County (WY) – 289
1992 Bert Smith, Waycross (GA) – 294
1993 Bert Smith, Waycross (GA) – 298
1994 Brooks Blackburn, Augusta Tech (GA) – 281
1995 Ron Cabbage, Walters State (TN) – 286
1996 Brad Weesner, Tyler (TX) – 281
1997 Cameron Conway, Tyler (TX) – 296
1998 Adam Babb, Indian Hills (IA) – 292
1999 Jason Dillard, Shelton State (AL) – 287
2000 Justin Schulze, Temple (TX) – 209
2001 Pat Stolpe, Indian Hills (IA) – 284
2002 Roger Welch, Southern Maryland (MD) – 281
2003 Adam Collins, Indian Hills (IA) – 280
2004 Stephen Knight, Tyler (TX) – 285
2005 Brent Witcher, Darton (GA) – 276
2006 T.J. Redding, Kirkwood (IA) – 277
2007 Bill Jones III, Darton (GA) – 278
2008 Marc Rice, Tyler (TX) – 289
2009 David Griffin, Rend Lake (IL) – 283
2010 Marcelo Rozo, John A Logan (IL) – 284
2011 Filip Timmerman, John A Logan (IL) – 280
2012 Ryan Mulvany, Tyler (TX) – 283
2013 David Keenan, Parkland (IL) – 280
2014 Levi Fink, North Iowa Area – 287
2015 Connor Klein, South Mountain (AZ) – 276
2016 Justin Warren, South Mountain (AZ) – 282
2017 Colin Troxler, Mississippi Gulf Coast – 282
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