DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—The No. 3-ranked William Woods University men’s golf team will tee off tomorrow morning at 9:10 a.m., in the first round of the NAIA National Championship, which will conclude on Friday afternoon.
Joining the Owls on the first tee box on Tuesday morning, will be No. 13-ranked Webber International and (RV) St. Francis University.
In its last time out, back on May 5th, the Owls won the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Championship, as they shot a 22-over par 886 (296-297-293) and won by 25-strokes.
Sophomore Billy McKenzie won the event overall, scoring a 5-over par 221 (70-78-73), to claim his first AMC title. Matt Wells, an IIfracombe, England, native, shot an even-par 72 on the final day, which allowed him to move five spots up on the leaderboard and conclude in second place, with a score of 7-over par 223 (77-74-72).
Senior Julian Taylor (79-72-74) and David Houlding (72-73-80), both tied for fourth, as they shot a 9-over par 225, while transfer Stan Gautier, finished in a tie for 12th, hitting his way to a 17-over par 223 (77-82-74).
At the end of the AMC Tournament, Houlding was named AMC Player of the Year, while Gautier, earned AMC Newcomer of the Year honors. Alasdair McDougall was also named AMC Freshman of the Year and head coach Barry Doty, picked up AMC Coach of the Year.
Last year, at the NAIA National Championship, the Owls finished the highest in program history, as they shot a 10-over par 874 (289-296-289), for a third place tie.
On the year, the team finished with a scoring average of 288.83 in 10 tournaments played, a vs. par score of 1.50 and an adjusted score of 1.16.
This season at Nationals, only one player (Stan Gautier), has not appeared at the National Tournament, as McKenzie, Houlding and Wells made their first appearance last year, while Taylor is the veteran, making it four consecutive National Championships for him.
McKenzie, a Portsmouth, England, native, concluded his second season with the Owls having a 71.81 average score in nine rounds played. He won two tournaments on the season, while finishing in the top-10 in seven others.
His average score is the lowest in program history, while his 12 rounds of par or less, are fourth best all-time. He does rank first all-time in par three scoring (3.04) and par four scoring (3.97).
Houlding, will look to build off his 19th place at Nationals last year, as this season, the Leeds, England, native, held an average score of 71.83 and a versus par score of -0.43.
He won four tournaments and finished in the top-10 on five different occasions, with his lowest finish on the year being at the 26th Annual Eagle Invite, where he ended up in 21st.
Wells, has an average score of 73.92 in 24 rounds played. He was able to drain 58 birdies and one eagle on the year, while his lone victory on the season came at the Beu/Mussatto Invite, as he tied Houlding with a 3-over par 219 (72-72-75).
He finished in the top-10 in five other tournaments, while his 4.02 scoring on the par four, ranks him third all-time, as he only trails teammates McKenzie and Houlding.
In his first year with WWU, Gautier, drained a program-best 67 birdies, while earning an average score of 73.75, in 24 rounds of action. He won the first tournament on the year, at the Missouri Intercollegiate, while rounding out in the top-15 in seven other Invites.
Gautier is tied for first all-time with Houlding in par five scoring (4.78), while his 10 rounds of par or less seventh-best in WWU history.
Taylor, meanwhile, will look to lead the Owls at Nationals, as he has an average score of 74.42 in 24 rounds played. Taylor, who has accumulated numerous victories and awards in his tenure with WWU, finished in the top-10 five times on the year and will look to add one final award this week, which will be an NAIA National Championship, to cap off his impressive career.
To view all the live scoring visit, HERE.
Fans make sure to stay updated on wwuowls.com tomorrow night for a full first round recap and scores from Daytona Beach.