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Wittenberg Men Selected As Favorites In Men's Golf

Wittenberg junior Colin Laszlo (L) & Kenyon senior Ryan Muthiora (R) will be among the favorites this weekend at the 2018 NCAC Men's Golf Championships
Wittenberg junior Colin Laszlo (L) & Kenyon senior Ryan Muthiora (R) will be among the favorites this weekend at the 2018 NCAC Men's Golf Championships

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The 2018 NCAC Men’s Golf Championships will be contested this weekend, April 27-29, at Westbrook Country Club in Mansfield, Ohio, with Ohio Wesleyan University serving as the host institution. The event will consist of 54-total holes, with 18 holes being played, respectively, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Following pre-championship balloting by eight of the nine league coaches, Wittenberg has been tabbed as the favorites to win its ninth-straight NCAC men’s golf championship. The Tigers, who are under the direction of first-year head coach Michael Leotta, collected seven of the possible first-place votes cast by league coaches to top the poll with 71 total points. Kenyon earned the final first-place vote and finished second in the poll with 65 points, followed by Ohio Wesleyan (56), DePauw (40), Allegheny (38), Wooster (36), Denison (29), Wabash (17) and Hiram (8). 

The Wittenberg Tigers, who enter the championship ranked 17th in the GolfStat Top-25, will once again bring a stacked lineup to the event this spring as the team has combined to win four total tournaments between the fall and spring seasons. The Tigers earned a pair of their wins in the fall season at the Allegheny Fall Invitational in early September and at the 36-hole championship preview event at Westbrook C.C. in mid October. Wittenberg than earned the top prize in late March at the Wynlakes Intercollegiate in Montgomery, Alabama, before closing out the regular season with a win last weekend at OWU’s Strimer Memorial Invitational. Two of the Tigers’ top golfers hail from the junior class, including Isaac Hartley (Bellevue, OH/Bellevue) and Colin Laszlo (Waipahu, HI/Punahou), while 2017 NCAC Newcomer of the Year, sophomore Cameron Willis (Eaton, OH/Eaton), has also been a mainstay in the lineup this year. Hartley is the only Tiger with an individual win this season after picking up medalist honors last weekend at OWU’s Strimer Memorial Invitational with a 36-hole score of 142 (71-71). Kenyon also enters the championship with a top-25 ranking as the Lords are 19th overall in the GolfStat Top-25.  KC golfers have combined for 13 total top-five finishes in events this season, led by senior Ryan Muthiora (Zion Crossroads, VA/Tandem Friends) earning a pair of top finishes this season at the Transylvania Invitational in early September and again at The Hershey Cup in early April. As a team, the Lords finished in the top-five at eight different events this year, highlighted by posting team wins at DePauw’s Dan Quayle Collegiate Classic and again at the Hershey Cup. Ohio Wesleyan also brings a strong resume to Mansfield this weekend as the Bishops have five top-five finishes this season, led by winning its own Battle at the Brook event in early September. Individually, three total golfers return to the field this spring after earning first-team All-NCAC honors last year, led by Willis who tied for the top spot in the individual standings in 2017 with a 218, but missed out on the medalist award after falling to teammate Sam Stillwell on the second playoff hole. Also landing in the top-five last spring was Ohio Wesleyan junior Adam Armstrong (Centerville, OH/Centerville) in a tie for third with a 220 and Allegheny senior Bobby Hapanowicz (Presto, PA/Sewickley Acad.) in a tie for fifth with 224 strokes. 

2018 North Coast Athletic Conference
Men's Golf
Pre-Championship Coaches' Polls
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1. Wittenberg (7) 71
2. Kenyon (1) 65
3. Ohio Wesleyan 56
4. DePauw 40
5. Allegheny 38
6. Wooster 36
7. Denison 29
8. Wabash 17
9. Hiram 8