Men's Golfers, Mike Mulieri Win Second Straight MAAC Championship

April 26, 2009

KISSIMMEE, FLA. - Four Greyhounds finished in the Top-15 to pace the the Loyola College golf team to its second straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship on Sunday at the Celebration Golf Course, where they edged Siena by five strokes behind Mike Mulieri, who earned top individual honors via a playoff, giving the senior his second consecutive conference title.

The Greyhounds fired a 304 in the final round to finish with a cumulative 907 for the 54-hole event, which began Friday. Siena College finished five strokes back and Iona 11. Loyola placed four players in the Top-15 and three in the Top-10.

Mulieri carded an 81 in Sunday's finale after going 71-71 in the first two rounds. He finished the tournament at 7-over par to finish tied with Canisius' Drew Creighton. The two advanced to a playoff, with Mulieri winning on the tenth hole by sinking a six-foot par to win the McLeod Award, presented to the MAAC individual champion.

Following the tournament, Loyola Head Coach Tom Beidleman was named MAAC Coach of the Year and freshman Jay Mulieri Rookie of the Year. It was Beidleman's first such honor since the 2003 season.

The win gives the Greyhounds their second consecutive conference title and fifth in the last seven seasons under their head coach, dating back to when they won three straight from 2003-05. Last season, Loyola won by 14 strokes over Rider at the Magnolia Golf Course.

This one was much closer, as Loyola entered the day with a two-stroke lead over the Saints and a three-stroke lead over the Gaels.

But Loyola was persistent when it mattered most. The team's 304 in the final round was a tournament-best.

"It was a seriously gritty performance from us," said Beidleman. "It was a little closer than we would have liked it to be, but it's great to get this win and I'm very proud of our guys."

Freshman Ryan McCarthy was a major factor. He fired a final-round 73 to finish fourth at 9-over par after going 75-77.

Another freshman, Jay Mulieri, had a team-best 72 en route to a 13-over par showing. He finished in a six-way tie for eighth place to earn MAAC Rookie of the Year after finishing in the Top-15 his last four tournaments.

Just two strokes back at 15-over was junior Keith Hall, who shot his second straight 78 for a cumulative 231.

Alex Redfearn shot 81 today to finish in 28th place. The sophomore shot 79-79 before to finish at 23-over par.

Loyola will now have to wait until Monday, May 4, to see where it will depart for the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Greyhounds played in the NCAA Central Regional at the Scarlet Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio.