Pope Wins A-10 Golf While XU Places Second
NEWPORT, R.I. --- Sophomore Andy Pope became the third Xavier golfer to win medalist honors at the Atlantic 10 Championship as he defeated Rhode Islandís David Spitz on the first playoff hole after Sundayís final round.
In spite of Popeís effort, the Musketeers, who entered the final round with a one-shot lead, lost the tournament to Rhode Island by one stroke. URI posted a 7-over 295 on Sunday to finish at 883, while XU shot a 297 to end at 884. It is the third time in six years that Xavier has finished as the runner-up to Rhode Island.
Pope tapped in on the 10th hole to take the title after Spitz hit his second shot into a hazard and had to take a one-stroke penalty. Both golfers tied at even-par 216 for the 54-hole tournament.
Pope, the runner-up at the 2003 A-10 Championship, drove into the middle of the fairway and left himself a 184-yard shot to reach the green. Spitz drove into the right rough on the playoff hole and was looking at a 196 yard shot to reach the green when hit into the hazard short of the green.
Xavierís Jason Kokrak became the third Xavier player to win Rookie of the Year in the past four years. He fired a three-day total of 3-over 219, including a 75 on Sunday in a round that featured six birdies and an eagle. He placed in a tie for third overall.
XU junior Neal Grusczynski posted Xavierís low round of the day as he fired a 1-under 71 on Sunday. Grusczynski tied for seventh with a three-round total of 223.
Senior Miles Maillet tied for 16th as he shot a 76 on each day of the tournament to finish with a total of 228.
Freshman John Streibich rounded out the Xavier scorers as he tied for 28th with a 233.
Richmond fired the low round of the tournament with a 2-under 286 on Sunday to finish third with a score of 887. Fordham posted its best finish ever by placing fourth with a 917. Ram coach Paul Dillon was named Coach of the Year for his teamís efforts.
XU will now await word on a bid for the NCAA Tournament as one of the top-six teams in the Midwest Region. The NCAA field will be announced on May 10.