PLYMOUTH, Ind. — Mississippi Gulf Coast saved its best golf for last, jumping up to third place Friday in the final standings of the NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship.
Gulf Coast shot the second-best team score for the second day in a row, shooting 2-over 290 to leap past Kirkwood by 10 shots. South Mountain won its sixth national championship, shooting 9-under and finish at 15-over for the 72-hole event at Swan Lake Golf Resort.
Walters State finished second at 34-over, and Gulf Coast was 17 more shots back.
Brice Wilkinson (So., Madison Central/Madison), who shared the third-round lead, shot 1-under for the day and the tournament and finished two shots behind South Mountain's Leon D'Souza and one back of Walters State's Alex Hodge.
"I gave it my all," Wilkinson said. "I didn't leave a shot out there. Once again for the fourth day in a row, it played really hard. Third place is always good in a national championship. The guy who won deserves it. He played four amazing days of golf, and he's a nice person."
Gulf Coast played the final six holes Friday 11 shots under par, including Jon Hopkins (Fr., Hockerill Anglo-European College/Bishop's Stortford, England), who matched Wilkinson with a 71 to finish tied for eighth. That duo earned spots on the 18-person All-Tournament Team as well as First-Team NJCAA All-American honors.
Carter Nicholson (So., Pearl River Central/Carriere) and Jake Crosson (Fr., New Hope/Columbus) shot matching 74s to post their best scores of the week, and Miles Jackson (So., Biloxi/Biloxi) made eagle on the final hole of his collegiate career.
"This is how we should have played all week," Snell said. "Golf is not a Hollywood script. I've seen the best and the worst. The last three years we've finished second, first and third. Today just shows you how good we were, but we just fell flat on our face the first two rounds. I'm proud of the guys for fighting back today."
NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship
Swan Lake Golf Resort
1. South Mountain 299-295-294-279—1167 (+15)
2. Walters State 297-291-304-295—1186 (+34)
3. Gulf Coast 310-305-298-290—1203 (+51)
4. Kirkwood 308-299-305-301—1213 (+61)
5. Parkland 311-315-300-295—1221 (+69)
3. Brice Wilkinson 72-76-70-71—287 (-1)
T8. Jon Hopkins 78-76-71-71—297 (+8)
T41. Jake Crosson 76-78-82-72—311 (+23)
T68. Carter Nicholson 83-83-79-74—319 (+31)
T73. Miles Jackson 86-77-78-79—320 (+32)
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Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College