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May 1, 2014

Men earn Horizon League golf championship

Women finish fifth in championship play

By Aaron Cutteridge

Cleveland State University men’s golf team seized their fifth Horizon League Championship Title in nine years in dramatic fashion over April 25, 26 and 27 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

Day one of the championship began with Michael Balcar notching an eagle (two-under-par) on the opening par five and finishing the day tied on the leaderboard with Detroit’s Spencer Lendzion at one-under-par.

Andrew Bailey, a three-time Horizon League Player of the Year, spotted a second-place even on day one, helping to give the Vikings a three point lead over the Titans from Detroit.

Day two resulted in Bailey and Balcar trading positions of first and second and the remainder of the team played collectively better to extend the Vikings lead over the Titans by six points.

Drama unfolded on day three as the Titans would push the Vikings to the brink.

Late in the day, the Titans were able to take the lead from the Vikings as the Titans, overall, posted a better team score than the Vikings, but Bailey would not be denied a championship in his senior year and slammed the door on the Titans with three crucial birdies on the back nine.

The birdies by Bailey and Brendan Byrne’s birdie on the 18th hole to post a 73 was enough to seal Detroit’s fate and give them Vikings their first championship since 2011.
Bailey’s individual score of 218 over the three days rewarded him medalist honors as the best overall score for the championship and a fitting end to his career with Cleveland State.

The women’s golf unit was not as fortunate as the men.

On day one, the women fell behind by a large fourteen point deficit, and although Shelly Ford and Allyson Hackman, individually, were in the top ten, the unit would struggle the remainder of the weekend to gain ground on the leaders, Oakland.

The women were able to shave five points from their opening round 324 to end wrap up day two with a 319, but Oakland stretched their lead on the entire field and Cleveland State finished nineteen points behind, still in fifth place.

Hackman and Ford were able to maintain their individual form, remaining in the top ten.
Oakland faltered on the third day and Detroit was able to snatch the Championship away from them with a commanding fifteen point victory and a three-day total of a seven point victory.

Oakland’s mis-steps on day three allowed the Vikings to close in, but finished in fifth place overall, seventeen points behind champion Detroit.

Hackman ended the tournament tied in fourth place and Ford would finish in ninth place. Hackaman’s three-day total of 234 earned her a spot on the all-tournament team.