No. 2 MGCCC punches ticket to nationals

No. 2 MGCCC punches ticket to nationals

No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast won its 11th region/district title in the last 12 years easily Sunday, shooting 4-under to blast the field by 26 shots.

Brice Wilkinson (So., Madison Central/Madison) fired nine birdies to surge to his second consecutive medalist victory at the district tournament.  The victory means the Bulldogs will head to the NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship next month to defend its national title.

"Brice was Brice," Gulf Coast coach Tommy Snell said. "He played really well. He was All-Tournament in all five events, medalist at conference, medalist at district. How can you beat that? He's such a rock to lean on. The other guys played well. It's a solid effort by everybody."

Gulf Coast, which finished at 2-over for the two-day tournament, won all seven tournaments against MACJC competition, doing so by an average of 14.5 shots per tournament.

Wilkinson finished 5-under, two shots ahead of teammate Jake Crosson (Fr., New Hope/Columbus). Crosson had three birdies and no bogeys Sunday.

"I was putting it pretty close, and I made just about everything," Wilkinson said. "I made nine birdies, but I also had two bogeys and a double-bogey. It was a good and bad day at the same time, but it turned out really good.

Jon Hopkins (Fr., Hockerill Anglo-European College/Bishop's Stortford, England) shot 72 to move into a tie for fourth place and join Wilkinson and Crosson on the All-District team.

Carter Nicholson (So., Pearl River Central/Carriere) shot 76 to finish in a seventh-place tie, as did teammate Patrick Powers (Fr., St. Stanislaus/Gulfport), who was playing as an individual.

No. 4 Meridian charged from 10 shots back to overtake host Itawamba for second and earn a spot in the national tournament. It will be held May 21-24 at Swan Lake Golf Resort in Plymouth, Ind.

"I'm going to have a talk with the boys tomorrow," Snell said. "We've got just less than three weeks before we leave. It's going to take some hard work. They're not going to be around school, and they're not going to be around each other. We're going to have to put in some hard work."

Full results: http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=18049 

Team scores

Team Score
1. Gulf Coast 294-284—578 (+2)
3. Meridian 309-295—604 (+28)
3. Itawamba 299-310—609 (+33)
4. Copiah-Lincoln 314-301—615 (+39)
5. Hinds 316-308—624 (+48)

MGCCC scores

Player Score
1. Brice Wilkinson 72-67—139 (-5)
2. Jake Crosson 73-69—142 (-3)
T4. Jon Hopkins 75-72—147 (+3)
T7. Carter Nicholson 74-76—150 (+6)
T7. Patrick Powers* 74-76—150 (+6)
T12. Miles Jackson 75-77—152 (+8)
* — Playing as individual

For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.

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