In its brief four-year history, the Capital Athletic Conference golf championship tournament has been one of the most competitive events in the CAC. Three teams have won the title trophy, and the battle for individual honors have been fierce.
The 2012 CAC Golf Championship will be held this weekend (April 20-21) at Wild Quail Golf & Country Club in Wyoming, Del., near the campus of tournament host Wesley College. Wesley also hosted the 2010 Championship, winning its second team title.
Stevenson won the rain-shortened 2011 CAC Championship. It was the second-straight year the tournament host captured top honors.
Eight of the top 11 finishers in the 2011 Championship return to the team lineups, including last year’s Player and Rookie of the Year, Stevenson’s Ben Lukehart. Other top-five finishers in 2011 returning this year include Mustang teammate Michael Ercolano, Wesley’s Robert Ehrhardt and York’s Andrew Schmehl.
Schmehl was the CAC Player of the Year and Wesley junior Clayton Bunting, was the conference Rookie of the Year in 2010.
Also in the projected tournament lineup is York junior Adam Dupler, who joins Lukehart as the only CAC players to win Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards during the same season. Dupler won the awards in 2009 in leading the Spartans to their only CAC golf title.
Friday’s (4/20) first-round championship competition begins at 9:30 a.m., and the second day of the 36-hole championship will be Saturday (4/21), beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Here is a quick glance at each team heading into the 2012 CAC Championship:
HOOD will compete in its fifth and final CAC golf championship this weekend … The Blazers registered their best finish ever at last year’s championship in the rain-shortened event at Piney Branch … Two players return from last year’s squad in senior Tyler Fairley and junior Ira Benoit … Sophomore Kevin Baker owns the team’s lowest stroke average (85) and is the only Blazer to finish in the top 20 at an invitational this season when he carded a career-best 77 to finish 16th at the LVC Fall Invitational
MARYMOUNT looks to build on its strong Fall and Spring campaigns as it vies for the program’s first CAC Championship. Junior standout Peter Johns, a two-time second team All-CAC honoree, leads the Saints with a 78.1 stroke average and has posted three top-10 finishes this season. Freshman Brad Johnson and Mark Curtis have come on strong lately and carry an 80.4 and 82.7 average, respectively, coming into the weekend while junior Nick Ryerson is right behind them at 84.3.
STEVENSON is the defending conference champion after carding a 323 in rain-shortened 2011 CAC Golf Championship at Piney Branch Golf Club ... Ben Lukehart was named CAC Player and Rookie of the Year and Chris Ramer was selected as CAC Coach of the Year ... Lukehart finished the first round with a tournament-best, two-over par 73 ... It was the second time in the last three years that a newcomer has earned both of the conference's top individual honors ... Ramer received his second CAC Coach of the Year honor and first since 2008 after guiding Stevenson to a second-place finish ... Micheal Ercolano earned first team honors after carding a first round 81 and finishing in a tie for fourth ... Justin Hughes was named to the All-CAC Second Team after shooting an 84 ... The last time the CAC Golf Championship was held at Wild Quail Golf & Country Club in 2010, Stevenson finished third with a two-day total of 630 ... Hughes finished 16th with a 162.
WESLEY, under the leadership of 18th-year head coach Rick McCall, enter the CAC Tournament after posting its best round of the spring, a 312 in the final 18 at the Goldey Beacom Spring Invitational on April 16 … Wesley possesses three golfers who average under 80, with Robert Ehrhardt (77.8), Cody Pestun (78.3) and Clayton Bunting (78.7) … Ehrhardt and Bunting finished second and third overall at the GBC Spring Invite while Pestun leads the team with a pair of top-five finishes on the year … Erik Shellenhamer and Mike Robinson will fight it out for the fourth spot on the squad.
YORK enters the CAC tournament looking to build on a solid spring that has featured one tournament championship and a pair of runner-up finishes in 2011-12. Sophomore Kevin Long, one of York's four All-CAC performers from a year ago, leads the Spartans with a 77.9 stroke average. He won the York College Spring Invitational and has three top five finishes this year. Seniors Andrew Schmehl and Adam Dupler are a pair of three-time All-CAC honorees who will be participating in their final conference championship. Dupler was the 2009 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year while Schmehl was the 2010 Co-Player of the Year in the conference. Schmehl enters the tournament with a 78.3 scoring average while Dupler checks in with an 80.6 average.