GREENSBORO, N.C. – As we wrap up the 2016-17 athletic year for the UNCG Spartans, we are taking a moment to look back at everything Spartan student-athletes, coaches and teams accomplished during the successful campaign. Overall, the Spartans won three Southern Conference championships, appeared in three postseason tournaments and posted the highest GPA across the board in the athletic department in program history during the 2016-17 campaign.
UNCGspartans.com has identified the top 10 moments from 2016-17 and will be counting down the memories over the next two weeks. Moments No. 10-6 will be released July 10-14 while moments No. 5-1 will be released July 17-21.
The No. 8 moment of the 2016-17 season came April 25 in Pinehurst, N.C., as freshman men's golfer Jonathan Brightwell (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) tied for first at the 2017 Southern Conference Championships individual title. Brightwell finished the 54-hole event at 2-over par 218 while earning SoCon Freshman of the Year honors and being named to the league's All-Conference team.
Brightwell Ties For First At SoCon Championship, Team Finishes Second Overall
PINEHURST, N.C. – For the third straight season, the UNCG men's golf team will take home the runner-up trophy at the Southern Conference Championship as the Spartans finished the 54-hole championship in second place, eight shots off the lead held by East Tennessee State at Pinehurst No. 9.
The Spartans placed a program-record three in the top five of the individual standings, led by freshman Jonathan Brightwell (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) who finished tied for the top spot after 54-holes at Pinehurst No. 9. Joining Brightwell in the top five included sophomore Bryce Hendrix (Greenville, N.C./D.H. Conley) and junior Josh Stockwell (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest), who both finished in a tie for fifth place overall. All three were named to the All-SoCon team, marking the second time in four seasons UNCG has placed three on the league's top team.
Brightwell finished tied for the 54-hole lead with Geuntae Kim of ETSU at 2-over par 218. He opened the week with a 1-under par 71 in round one before carding a 3-over par 75 in round two. He posted the sixth-lowest round of the day Tuesday, turning in an even-par 72 to force a playoff with Kim. Kim won the playoff on the first hole as the two returned to No. 18. He posted a par on the hole while Brightwell saw his 15-foot par attempt roll just an inch to the right of the hole.
Brightwell was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, marking the fourth time in the last five years that UNCG has claimed the rookie honor joining the likes of Hendrix (2016), Carter Jenkins (2014) and Taylor Coalson (2013). He was also the only freshman named to the All-SoCon Team as he finished the championships first in the field with 12 birdies, including five in the final round.
Hendrix tied his career-best with a fifth place finish, posting a 5-over par 221. He opened the week with a 6-over par 78 in round one, but improved each time after that with a 1-over par 73 in round two and a 2-under par 70 in the final round. He posted four birdies, two bogeys and 12 par scores on the round Tuesday. His fifth-place finish matches a fifth-place showing at the Linger Longer earlier this spring as the top finish of his career. The All-SoCon honor is the first of his career after earning SoCon Freshman of the Year accolades last season.
Stockwell also finished fifth overall, marking a new career-best finish for the Aberdeen native. His fifth place showing surpasses his previous best of seventh place at last year's SoCon Championships on the same course. He posted a 5-over par 221 score on the week, opening with back-to-back 1-over par 73 scores in the first two rounds before carding a 3-over par 75 Tuesday. He finished the final round with 15 par scores and three bogeys. He ranked third overall in the entire field with 38 pars in the 54-hole event. This marks the first All-SoCon honor of his career.
The Spartans finished in second place overall as a team with a 26-over par 890 score (303-295-292) but couldn't overcome their uncharacteristic first round score of 303. ETSU won its third-straight title by posted an 18-over par 882 score (292-300-290), carding the second-lowest round of the day Tuesday.
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