Last week, 182 golfers from 37 colleges converged on The Captains Golf Course in Brewster, Mass., on Cape Cod.
When the two-day competition was over, Husson University of Bangor had emerged as the Division III champion at the New England Intercollegiate Golf Championship.
Junior Chris Hamel of Waterville carded a two-day total of 149, 5 over par, to set the tone for the Eagles. His effort tied him for Division III medalist honors and ranked him 13th overall in the field.
Husson finished sixth overall in the competition, which featured numerous Division I, II and III programs, with a 613 total. The University of Rhode Island (Div. I) won the event with a score of 585.
“They played well toward the end of the season,” said coach Ed Meo. “They played their best golf going into the NAC Championship, followed by the New Englands.”
Trinity College and Salem State tied for second among Division III schools, 11 strokes behind the Eagles.
Junior Matthew Loubier of Winslow was Husson’s No. 2 scorer at 153 and tied for 24th overall, followed by senior Michael Hersey of Presque Isle (154, tied for 33rd). The Eagles’ other competitors were senior Kevin Byrne of Winslow (157, tied for 50th) and senior Brian Johnson of Bangor (170, tied for 136th).
“Chris Hamel and Michael Hersey have been very consistent, shooting in the low 70s,” Meo said. “In recent weeks, it’s been Matt Loubier who shot 5-under at the NACs. Kevin Byrne has improved his game toward the end (of the season) as well.”
The Eagles’ other team members this season included freshmen Lance Bernier and Kasey Knights, both of Lincoln, A.J. Chasse of Northport, and Eagan Nadeau of Greene.
“It’s all about consistency,” Meo said. “They had a lead and we actually grew it (the second day).”
Husson went to the New Englands after having wrapped up its fifth consecutive North Atlantic Conference crown.
Hersey, Byrne, Hamel and Loubier all were selected for the All-NAC golf first team, while Johnson was a second-team pick.
Husson returns to action next spring, when it competes in the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf National Championships May 10-13, 2011, at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro, N.C.
In the meantime, Meo said the Eagles will be doing weight training and utilizing their hitting net.
“We go to Florida for 10 days in March over break,” Meo said. “This year, we’re going to play some tournaments in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to prepare for the NCAAs in May.”
Byrne scores rare hole-in-one
Byrne achieved a memorable accomplishment during the NAC Championships held Oct. 9-10 at Neshobe Country Club in Brandon, Vt.
He recorded an ace playing the 16th hole, a 264-yard (to the center of the green) par 4.
“It’s very unusual,” Meo said. “It was 269 yards uphill and he couldn’t see the hole. He hit driver and it landed on the green. It basically hit directly left of the pin and went right.”
Meo said the Neshobe course is short but requires some precision.
“It’s tight and you have to position yourself,” Meo said.