No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast won its 10th region/district title in the last 11 years Sunday, beating No. 3 Meridian by 13 strokes in the NJCAA District D Championship in Columbus.
The Bulldogs were led by medalist Brice Wilkinson (Fr. Madison Central/Madison), who beat the field by five shots.
"I think we played OK, but the scores didn't look all that great," Gulf Coast coach Tommy Snell said. "It was a tough day. It was windy and cool this morning. There were some really tough hole locations today. The guys just hung in there and played well."
Wilkinson picked up his first tournament win of the year after five top-five finishes. He triple-bogeyed the third hole Sunday at Lion Hills Country Club but birdied the next and wound up the only golfer under par in the 29-person field.
"Yesterday, I played pretty well and shot 3-under 69. I was really happy," he said. "Today, I shot 2-over. I was still pretty happy considering the conditions. It was extremely windy and the course was playing really tough."
Gulf Coast won despite their No. 1 player not having his best day. Jackson Wedgeworth (So., West Jones/Soso) finished seventh, but that didn't matter with his teammates picking up the slack.
Nicholson finished tied for third at 6-over with teammate Colby Blake (So., Parklane/Tylertown). Entriken was tied for fifth another shot back.
Gulf Coast and Meridian have been atop the leaderboard in six tournaments the teams have both participated in. The Bulldogs and Eagles are now tied with three victories apiece.
"It's a pretty big deal," Wilkinson said. "I'm happy to help out the team. It's a good win over Meridian."
The two teams, along with third-place East Central, qualified to play in the NJCAA Division II Golf Championship. The 72-hole tournament will be played at GlenLakes Golf Club in Foley, Ala., May 21-24.
|1. Gulf Coast||292-299—592 (+15)|
|2. Meridian||295-309—604 (+21)|
|3. East Central||315-316—631 (+55)|
|4. Copiah-Lincoln||311-334—645 (+69)|
|5. East Mississippi||332-344—676 (+100)|
|1. Brice Wilkinson||69-74—143 (-1)|
|T3. Colby Blake||72-78—150 (+6)|
|T3. Carter Nicholson||76-74—150 (+6)|
|T5. Colby Entriken||78-73—151 (+7)|
|T7. Jackson Wedgeworth||75-78—153 (+9)|
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