PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – The No. 2 Georgia College & State University golf squad was the most consistent in the 11-team field at the 19th annual Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Championships Tuesday, and consistency paid off with a championship trophy. The Bobcats fired rounds of 294, 294 and 293 en route to an eight-stroke victory at the par-72, 7,057-yard Callaway Gardens - Mountain View course.
Senior Niclas Johansson (Skanor, Sweden) finished at even par and two strokes off the individual lead. The three-time All-American shot 72s in each of the three rounds, needing six birdies to balance out his four holes over par. The par-five seventh was a spot of brilliance for Johansson, carding birdies in all three rounds.
Junior Joe Young (Cochran, Ga.) was sixth, carding a 73 following yesterday’s pair of 74s for five-over par. Young had a solid round, taking advantage of his long game, carding birdies on two of the round’s four par-fives. The former All-American posted a 12-hole stretch of par or better.
A spot behind in seventh was All-PBC Second Team selection Billy Shida (Berkeley Lakes, Ga.). The junior carded rounds of 73 and 76 before today’s effort of 74, ending up seven-over par. Shida birdied three of the par-four holes, and had a great beginning to his back nine, at par or better for the first six holes.
PBC Golfer of the Year Francisco Bide (Buenos Aires, Argentina) was one stroke out of a top-10 finish, taking 13th at plus-nine (75-74-76). Bide was at even par until the 11th in today’s round.
Junior Matthew Yonz (Waycross, Ga.) bumped up six spots from yesterday, following an opening round 84 with a pair of 74 efforts, counting toward the team score in round two and three. Yonz was strong today, not carding a hole over par on the front nine. Both of the junior’s birdies came on par-five holes.
The Bobcats’ 17-over par bested USC Aiken by eight, and day-one leader Armstrong Atlantic State University by 13. UNC Pembroke’s Jordan Walor won individual medalist, carding 70-72-72 for two-under par.
The PBC Championship has been an elusive one for the storied Georgia College golf program and head coach Jimmy Wilson. The 2010 victory marks just the second in program history, the first coming 10 years ago in 2000. The last PBC Championship team had a pair of GCSU Athletics Hall of Famers on the starting five in Alex McMichael and David Robinson. The Bobcats beat Francis Marion University that season by 13 strokes in two rounds of play.
The Bobcats are back in action May 3-5 at the NCAA Super Regionals, hosted by Barton College at the Wilson Country Club in Wilson, N.C.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.