NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. – Seven months after earning the GNAC's automatic qualifying spot, the Johnson & Wales University men's golf team will compete in the NCAA Championships. The opening round is set for Tuesday at the Keene Trace Golf Club.
Johnson & Wales is playing in the postseason for the second year in a row after winning its second-straight GNAC Championship. Last year, JWU had its best finish at the NCAA Championships, coming in 32nd.
Forty-two teams and six individuals not on one of those teams were selected to participate in the championships. After 36 holes of competition, the field will be cut to the top 18 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams.
Representing the Wildcats will be juniors Alex Parente and Mac Patch as well as sophomores Claudio Soukamneuth, Ryan Malloy and Hunter DiLorenzo. For Parente, Soukamneuth and DiLorenzo it's their second trip to the championships.
Johnson & Wales started the spring by winning the RIC Invitational then took third at the Wildcats Spring Invitational. JWU captured the Spring Challenge title with the lowest combined score from the RIC Invitational, Wildcats Spring Invitational and Hampton Inn Invitational. It's the first time JWU has won the title since it was introduced seven years ago.
Leading the team with a 76.06 strokes per round average is Soukamneuth, who just missed the cut at last year's championship. The lowest finish of the spring was turned in by DiLoenzo as he fired a 147 to take fourth at the Wildcat Spring Invitational.
Four Wildcats earned All-GNAC honors by finishing in the top five at the GNAC Championship. Topping the team was Soukamneuth in second place at 152 (76-76).