2013 CAA Men's Golf Championship Outlook
The 2013 CAA Men's Golf Championship is set to begin on Friday morning at the St. James Plantation in Southport, N.C. The 54-hole tournament will conclude on Sunday afternoon with the winning team earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
Seven men's teams will battle at the par 72, 7,069-yard Reserve Club course for the first year. Eight different schools have won the CAA men's golf championship title: former members East Carolina, Georgia State, Navy, Old Dominion, Richmond, and VCU, along with current members UNCW and Towson.
Defending champion UNCW will look to capture its fifth CAA title. The Seahawks enter the three-round tournament ranked first among the league teams, while William & Mary and James Madison follow ranked second and third. UNCW is led by junior Payne McLeod and senior Thomas Bass, who rank first and second, respectively, among the CAA individuals. McLeod (72.5 avg.) won the Seahawk Intercollegiate at the end of March and has produced four top-five finishes this season, while Bass earned medalist at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic in the fall and is posting a scoring average of 74.0 heading into the tournament.
The Tribe is led by senior Jeremy Wells and sophomore Alex Hicks. Wells, who ranks third among the conference leaders in head-to-head standings, recently won his first collegiate tournament at the Whiting Turner Towson Invitational. He has posted three top-five finishes this season and enters the CAA championship with a 72.75 scoring average. Hicks has finished among the top-seven in three tournaments this season and brings a 73.88 average to the tournament.
Trey Smith and Rich Leeper lead the way for the James Madison Dukes. Smith earned medalist in the Golfweek Division I tournament the first event of the fall and recently finished second in the Bash at the Beach, to tabulate five top-15 finishes this season and enters the CAA event with a 73.04 scoring average. Leeper won the Bash at the Beach and will open the championship with a 74.29 scoring mark on the year after earning three top-15 finishes.
Delaware follows in the team rankings at fourth, while Towson, Drexel and Hofstra round out the league. Towson junior Joe Gunerman enters this week’s tournament ranked fourth among the league’s top golfers with a 74.6 scoring average, after earning medalist in the Navy Spring Invitational last week.
On Friday, Towson and William & Mary will tee-off the 1st tee at 9:00 am, while Hofstra, JMU and Delaware will follow at 9:45 am. UNCW and Drexel will begin the split-tee start on #10 at 9:00 am. Official pairings will be set Thursday evening and will be posted on CAA Men’s Golf Championship Central. Three-hole live scoring will be available via GolfStat.com. Friday and Saturday first tee-times are scheduled for 9am, while Sunday the teams will tee-off at 8am. The tournament will conclude on Sunday afternoon with the award ceremonies.