UNCG at BancorpSouth Intercollegiate (hosted by Ole Miss), April 4-5, Reunion CC, Madison, Miss.
By Rob Daniels
UNCG returns to action this week at the BancorpSouth Intercollegiate, hosted by the Ole Miss Rebels, at Reunion Country Club in Madison, Miss.
The appearance will be the third in the event for the Spartans, who claimed seventh out of 15 teams in 2008 and ninth of 15 a year later. In addition to the host team, which is ranked 51st this week, the tournament is expected to include No. 115 Mississippi State, No. 69 Memphis and No. 85 South Alabama.
After this week, the Spartans will have competed in six states (North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Minnesota and Mississippi) and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico) in 2010-11.
SONDAY (STILL) DRIVING: Junior Kyle Sonday has worked his way back into the Spartan lineup after redshirting last year. He followed an eighth-place tie at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate with a tie for 20th at the C&F Bank Intercollegiate from March 21-22 and has now broken par in a round in each of his past three events. That's the longest active streak on the team.
MOVING UP: In taking fifth in the 16-team Pinehurst Intercollegiate and fourth out of 24 squads in the C&F Bank Intercollegiate, UNCG has finished in the top one-third of the field in consecutive events for the first time in 2010-11. The performances mean the Spartans compiled a 31-7 head-to-head record in March.
IN PURSUIT: UNCG, 82nd of 300 Division I teams according to golfstat.com, trails only No. 46 Chattanooga among Southern Conference programs. In three events this spring, the Spartans have faced 50 teams. The opposition has included more than half of the Big Ten and nearly half of the ACC but none of the SoCon.
HOADLEY A SULLIVAN SEMIFINALIST: UNCG sophomore Robert Hoadley, an All-Southern Conference player as a freshman, was one of 12 semifinalists named in February for the prestigious Sullivan Award, which is commonly known as the Oscar of amateur athletics. The Amateur Athletics Union presents the prize to the person who best embodies the spirit of healthy competition, citizenship and other traits. Hoadley was nominated by the chief administrative officer of AAU golf events for his combination of achievement on the course, in the community and in the classroom, where he maintains Dean's List membership in the university's Bryan School of Business and Economics. Hoadley did not make the cut to finalist stage, but he did finish sixth out of 12 in online voting administered by USA Today. The AAU does not disclose the extent of the popular vote's role in the process. The ballot included Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton of Auburn; basketball players Maya Moore of Connecticut and Jimmer Fredette of BYU; and Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek, the eventual winner. Lysacek also has UNCG ties. One of his cousins, Ari Lysacek, is a member of the Spartan volleyball team.
ALUMNI UPDATE: Former UNCG golfers Will Bowman and Ryan Heisey helped the amateur team split the 17th Tar Heel Cup matches with a group of PGA of America teaching professions this week.
The amateurs, who have won only the Cup only twice, earned a draw for the second straight year in the two-day event at the par-71, 6,900-yard Dormie Club in West End, N.C.
With his team down 2.5 points with three matches pending, Bowman began a late surge by winning the 18th hole of his singles contest against Corey Schneider, a result that halved the contest. Earlier, Bowman and Heisey had halved their four-ball match with Paul Dickens and Mike Cato.
Bowman enjoyed an excellent spring in his senior season in 2010, posting a career-low 66 in one round and qualifying for the U.S. Amateur in a subsequent competition as an individual.
Heisey, another 2010 graduate, won the 50th North Carolina Amateur last June, breaking the event's 72-hole record in the process.
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