Bass wins SoCon Men's Golf Individual Championship, Spartans finish fifth
FLORENCE, S.C. – UNC Greensboro’s J.D. Bass fired a final round 68 to become UNCG’s first-ever Southern Conference Men’s Golf Champion and help the Spartans to a fifth place finish at the 2007 Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championship at the Country Club of South Carolina on Tuesday.
Bass, a senior from Fairview, NC, became UNCG’s first SoCon individual men’s golf champion and just the fourth UNCG player to win a conference title in the last thirty years. He joins Jay Stone (Dixie Conference, 1968-69), Joe Caldeira (Dixie Conference, 1978-79) and Michael Way (1995-96, Big South) as UNCG players who have won individual conference titles.
Teeing off at No. 10 on Tuesday morning, Bass began the day three shots off the lead. He was one of 11 golfers within three shots of second round co-leaders Jonathan Hodge of Chattanooga and Alex Knoll of Davidson. But Bass, who entered the tournament with six consecutive Top 20 finishes, birdied No. 11 and then eagled the 514-yard 17th hole to move to three-under for the day. He stayed that way as he headed to No. 1 tee, trailing Hodge by a single shot and pulling even with Knoll at the turn.
After Hodge birdied No. 11, he bogeyed at Nos. 15 and 18 to leave the door open for Bass. Bass birdied No. 1 to open his second nine and played the course even through No. 7 to pull him even after Hodge’s bogey on No. 15. Bass followed with a birdie at No. 8 to give him the lead.
At No. 9, Bass bogeyed, but so did Hodge to give Bass the individual crown.
"I didn't really know that I had won until after I had finished my round, " Bass said. "I didn't know what was going on with the other players but I knew that I was close and figured I had a shot to take the title on the last hole."
Chattanooga clinched the automatic bid into the NCAA Regional by winning the team title. The Mocs finished at even-par 864 as a team, nine shots better than Georgia Southern. Elon was third, followed by Wofford and UNCG. The Spartans shot 289 as a team on Tuesday, led by Bass’ 68. Freshman Drew Younts carded a final round 70 to tie for 13th place, while Nathan Stamey shot even-par 72 to finish tied for 17th.
Bass’ 68 matched his career-low round that he recorded in each of UNCG’s last two tournaments. It was the third win of his college career, the other two coming during his freshman campaign back in the 2003-04 season.
"It feels great to win this tournament, " Bass said. "It's probably the biggest tournament I've ever won and I couldn't have done it without my teammates."
The NCAA Men’s Golf Committee selects 27 teams and six at-large individuals for each of the three regionals. UNCG is not likely to be selected as a team, but Bass will hold out hope to be one of those 18 individuals when the committee makes its announcement on the evening of May 7. The three regional sites this year are The Golf Club of Georgia in Atlanta, GA; Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, IL; and Karsten Golf Club in Tempe, AZ.
TEAM STANDINGS: Chattanooga 864, Georgia Southern 873, Elon 882, Wofford 885, UNCG 887, Western Carolina 894, College of Charleston 896, Davidson 902, Appalachian State 907, Furman 909.
Top 10: 1. J.D. Bass (UNCG) 72-73-68=213; T-2. Jonathan Hodge (Chattanooga) 73-69-72=214; T-2. Alex Knoll (Davidson) 72-70-72=214; T-4. Matt Cook (Western Carolina) 71-76-70=217; T-4. Jayson Judy (Elon) 75-69-73=217; T-4. Drew Lethem (Georgia Southern) 75-69-73=217; T-4. Derek Rende (Chattanooga) 74-70-73=217; T-8. Taylor Hines (Appalachian State) 69-76-73=218; T-8. Jordan Johnstun (Georgia Southern) 73-17-74=218; T-8. Bryan Jones (Georgia Southern) 75-71-72=217.
Other UNCG golfers: T-13. Drew Younts 76-74-70=220; T-17. Nathan Stamey 74-75-72=221; 46. Nick Baker 78-81-79=238; 48. Kyle Stockton 83-76-82=241.
- UNCG -