May 1, 2011
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Loyola University Maryland became the first team since 1989 to win its fourth-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men's Golf Championship on Sunday when the Greyhounds shot a final-round 302 to defeat second-place Iona by 13 strokes.
The Greyhounds finished the tournament with a three-round total of 895, topping Iona's 908, and Siena's 909. Loyola led the event wire-to-wire, but going into Sunday's final round, the Greyhounds held just a two-shot advantage over Siena.
"I think we were about seven shots up with four or five holes to play, but our guys finished up pretty well," said first-year Head Coach Chris Baloga. "Some of the other teams struggled a bit, and we were able to get more separation."
Patrick McCormick shot an even-par 72 on Sunday and tied for the tournament's lowest score with a 1-over par 217. He lost on the first hole of a playoff to Siena's Don Denyse for medalist honors.
Alex Redfearn, who is the first Loyola player to ever win four MAAC titles, came in third at the tournament after shooting 74 on Sunday and 222 for the weekend.
"Pat and Alex played great all tournament," Baloga said. "They carried us, although the other guys played pretty solid; they came in second and third, and that really helps."
Will Handley carded a final round 79 and tied or seventh, and Jonathan Ross checked in with a 79, as well, tying for 10th. Ryan McCarthy shot 77 on the final day as the Greyhounds' fourth scorer and tied for 15th overall.
"I told them going into to today to play with a lot of heart, and that's what all of them did," Baloga said. "All of them had their struggles at times, but they fought hard, and it worked out okay."
Army is the last team to win as many as four-straight MAAC titles. The Black Knights, who are no longer in the MAAC, won the league's first nine championships from 1982-1989. Loyola joined the conference in 1989 and broke Army's streak with its first league title in 1990.
The Greyhounds have now won the MAAC golf title 13 times, more than any other school.
The team victory also secured Loyola a spot in a NCAA Regional for the third year in a row. The Greyhounds will play at one of six regional sites and will learn their destination on Monday, May 9.