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Sandhills CC breezes to NJCAA DIII golf title

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Sandhills Community College is located in Pinehurst, North Carolina, but the young men on its golf team certainly feel right at home on the Lake Course at Chautauqua Golf Club.

The Flyers claimed their fourth straight NJCAA Division III Championship on Friday by a whopping 48 shots over Georgia Military College. They posted a final-round 287 compared to 302 for GMC. For the tournament, Sandhills CC finished at 1,140, while Georgia Military College finished at 1,188. The College of DuPage was third (1,225), SUNY Niagara was fourth (1,268) and Minnesota State Community & Technical College was fifth (1,306) in the 11-team field.

Individually, the Flyers claimed the first four spots, highlighted by Daniel Aitken, whose four-day total of 283 edged teammate Ben Read by one shot for medalist honors. Watcharakan Chankkarn was third at 289 and Liam Harris was fourth at 292.

Brady Wentz of Georgia Military College was fifth at 294, Gehrig Massey of Georgia Military College and Patrick Murray of UCNJ Union College were tied for sixth at 295, Landon Cabingas of Sandhills CC was eighth at 298, and Ross Tetrault of Georgia Military College and Anthony Regimand of the College of DuPage finished tied for ninth.

Meanwhile, Jamestown Community College struggled on the final day, shooting its worst-round (357) and falling to 10th overall.

The Jayhawks were led for the fourth straight day by sophomore Southwestern product Brady Fye, who shot an 84 for a final score of 325.

“Not a great day, but that’s OK,” he said. “I don’t have much to say about today. It was a tough week, not my week this week.”

While Fye was Jamestown CC’s leader, his two South African teammates, Athanasios Bakas and Maxim Johnson, carded a 343 and 357 respectively.

“It was brutal today,” Johnson said. “The weather again didn’t help one bit. It was disappointing, but I am glad my scores were able to help the team. I came in as the number five, so I didn’t expect to be scoring, but here I am scoring for the team.

Added Bakas: “It got a little bit rocky for a couple of holes, but we brought it back, which was nice. I had like five putts for birdie today, but that didn’t come. The weather was all over the place, but it was a good day out.”

The Jayhawks also turned in scores of 343 from Jackson Sandhoff and 366 from Spencer Bell.

While Bell’s score wasn’t where he wanted on Day 4, he said the memories are what’s most important.

“I made a lot of memories this week, and that is something I look highly up to,” he said. “I enjoyed it, so I will come back better next year.”

Bell wasn’t alone in those feelings.

“It was great fun,” Johnson said. “I am so grateful to play with an amazing team, at an amazing course, for an amazing school. It’s just been a great experience, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.”

“I loved it,” Bakas said. “Never mind the weather or the one bad score. I enjoyed every moment of it playing with the boys.”

This was the last time Johnson, Bakas and Fye would tote the bag for Jamestown CC, something they didn’t take for granted.

“It was a good two years. I made a lot of good friends. That was a blast,” added Fye.

2024 marked the 25th straight year Jamestown CC has hosted the NJCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, and that will continue in 2025 when the tournament returns to Chautauqua Golf Club.

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