2017 CCC Golf Fall Qualifier Preview

2017 CCC Golf Fall Qualifier Preview

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The seven Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men’s golf teams will travel to Montaup Country Club in Portsmouth, R.I. on Thursday (Oct. 5) to compete in the 2017 CCC Golf Fall Qualifier hosted by Roger Williams. The first group is scheduled to tee off at 10:30 a.m.

Eastern Nazarene, Endicott, Nichols, Roger Williams, the University of New England, Wentworth, and Western New England will all compete for the chance to play in the CCC Golf Championship. The top four teams in Thursday’s 18-hole event will earn the right to challenge for the league title in the spring with the team that wins the Qualifier earning the right to host.

Last season, Western New England won the Fall Qualifier at South Shore Country Club in Hingham, Mass. by eight strokes to earn the right to host the CCC Spring Championship. However in the spring, it was Endicott that came out victorious in the end clinging to a one-stroke lead for the league title.




Eastern Nazarene has taken big steps in just one year thanks in part to newcomers Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) and Michael Dietz (North Charleston, S.C.). Waldroop and Dietz have been the Lions top two golfers in each of their three tournaments this year. At the Westfield State Invitational Waldroop carded a program-best 75 to finish in a three-way tie for fifth. ENC also earned its first win on the course this year defeating Emmanuel in a dual match. Connor Simpson (Haverhill, Mass.), last year’s top golfer, also returns this season.


Reigning CCC Golf Champion Endicott returns much of the team that claimed the conference title a year ago. In four tournaments this year, the Gulls have earned three second place finishes including runner-up spots at the Bowdoin Invitational, the Husson Invitational, and the UNE Invitational. Returning for the Gulls are 2016-17 Golfer of the Year Athan Goulos (Peabody, Mass.) and fellow All-CCC First Teamer Ben Palazzo (Farmington, Conn.). All-CCC Second Team Selections Drew Benshoff (Concord, Mass.) and Christopher Billings (Portland, Maine) are also back for the Gulls. Newcomer Tyler Smith (Morgan, Vt.) has also had an impressive year as the Rookie was Endicott’s top golfer in its first two tournaments.


Nichols will look to once again qualify for the CCC Spring Championship after a third place finish last year. The Bison return 2016-17 CCC Rookie of the Year Patrick Hesseltine (Westford, Mass.) who was the medalist at last year’s spring championship and earned All-CCC First Team recognition. Remy Fletcher (Billerica, Mass.) and TJ Barber (Cornish, N.H.) have also been contributors as they joined Hesseltine as Nichols’s top-three finishers in the Bowdoin Invitational, which helped the Bison place third as a team.


Roger Williams, this year’s Fall Qualifier host, will look to return to the Spring Championship after missing the cut in 2016-17. The Hawks have earned top-three finishes in both their tournaments this fall including a third-place finish at the MCLA Invitational and a second-place finish at the Westfield State Invitational. Three golfers have earned top-five finishes for Roger Williams this year. Jake Messina (Latham, N.Y.) accomplished the feat in both tournaments placing fifth at the MCLA Invitational and fourth at the Westfield State Invitational. Derek Deveraux (Brunswick, Maine) was the medalist at the Westfield State event. Joshua Unkrich (Bristol, Conn.), the Hawks best performer at last year’s qualifier, had a third-place finish at the MCLA competition.


The University of New England, a CCC Championship qualifier a year ago, will try to make a return appearance this year. Leading the way for the Nor’easters is junior Michael Rich (Boston, Mass.) who leads the team with a 76.17 stroke average. Rich also has two top-two finishes including a tie for medalist honors at the UNE Invitational. Dylan Andrews (Northwood, N.H.) is the only other UNE golfer with a top-two finish. He accomplished the feat at the Thomas Invitational. As a team, the Nor’easters finished third at the UMaine Farmington Invitational and second at the Thomas Invitational.


Wentworth has won two of the three invitationals it has competed in this fall. The Leopards opened the season with a win at the Mitchell Invitational before claiming the Emmanuel College Invitational four days later. Sean L'Italien (Pembroke, Mass.) had the best score of the season so far for the Leopards carding a 72 at the Mitchell Invitational to earn medalist honors. Paul Arsenault (Middleton, Mass.) also won an individual event this year at the Emmanuel College Invitational.


Western New England mounted a fierce comeback in last year’s CCC Championship, but fell short by a single stroke. So far this year, the Golden Bears have top-three finishes in every tournament they’ve competed in. They placed third in both the Bill Detrick Invitational and the Williams Fall Invitational, while earning a second-place spot at the Duke Nelson Invitational. Three All-CCC honorees return for WNE this year in John Abbott (Higganum, Conn.) and Mike Metcalf (Longmeadow, Mass.) from the First Team and Joe Ciolek (South Hadley, Mass.) from the Second Team. Abbott has paced the Golden Bears finishing as the team’s top golfer in both the Bill Detrick and Williams Fall Invitationals.


ABOUT THE COURSE (http://www.montaupcc.com/)

Montaup Country Club is open year round for the die-hard golf enthusiast and is located in Portsmouth, R.I. Close to historic Newport, Montaup Country Club is an 18-hole semi-private course. Our signature hole, the Par 5 16th overlooks scenic Mt. Hope Bay and Bridge. A fairly open, flat course with tricky winds results in a good test of shot-making ability.

The first three holes are considered by some, the toughest starting holes in Rhode Island. The first hole has water in front and to the right of the green, with out-of-bounds guarding the left side.



The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and four associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.


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