CHAUTAUQUA - The two-time defending champion Monroe Community College Tribunes came into the NJCAA Division III National Golf Tournament trying to record the first three-peat since the event has been held on the Lake Course at Chautauqua Golf Club beginning in 2000.
Monroe successfully did with an exclamation point.
The Tribunes from Rochester shot a final round total of 6-over-par 294, the lowest round in the four days of the tournament, to finish with a 72-hole total of 1,216 and the victory by 11 shots.
Monroe Community College successfully completed a three-peat at the NJCAA Division III National Golf Tournament on Friday at Chautauqua Golf Club. From left are Coach Jeff Parrinello, Alex McKee, Shane Dobesh, Mike Catalano, Tim McCall and Anthony Colosi.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
In second place, for the third time ever, was Rock Valley College from Rockford, Ill., a former back-to-back champion, with 1,227 while third was Cincinnati State Technical and CC from Cincinnati, Ohio, at 1,228.
See NJCAA, Page B-2
Genesee CC from Batavia, which was tied with Rock Valley after the third round five shots behind, finished fourth with 1,240.
Monroe not only won the team championship, but it also had the individual champion as Alex McKee shot 79-72-74-72-297, 9 over par.
The Tribunes other scores were Shane Dobesh 72, Mike Catalano 75, Tom McCall 75 and Anthony Colosi's 77 was thrown out.
''I'm just so proud of the guys and how they responded,'' Parrinella said about his team shooting the tournament's best score in a pressure-packed final round that found four teams within five shots of the lead.
He gave credit for Cincinnati State for being the first team to break 300 with a 299 in the third round.
''I think it was on the third day to see Cincinnati State go under 300,'' Parrinella said was the key to his team's success. 'It let our guys know it was out there and that it could be shot. That was a good motivating thing to happen.''
But did he ever think his team would win by 11 shots?
''I certainly didn't think that,'' Parrinella said. ''It certainly wasn't a runaway. There were four teams within five shots of the lead. I thought it was going to come down to those four teams and it was going to be a two- three, one-shot victory, maybe a playoff.''
Parrinella said it was at the 14th hole when he felt confident his Tribunes were going to win.
''I had three guys around par and couple were two or three over,'' Parrinella said. ''In each group they were in the lead, leading the other guys, so I felt pretty confident that we could finish it off.''
Monroe did complete the three-peat, but it was first victory under Parrinella, who took over for former coach John Graham, who won three national titles in five years. So how does it feel to be the coach of a national championship team in his first year?
''I think a lot of credit obviously has to go to the players,'' Parrinella said. ''They take the shots, they make the putts, they grind out the numbers, they commit to the school.''
He added, ''I also have to give credit to those who came before me, like John Graham, who has put such a great tradition together and to get such a great group of kids this year is attributable to the success that he's had.''
Rock Valley was the runner-up for the third time. Coach Steve Benjamin said his team's target score for the final round was 302 and it shot a 303.
''It was all we had,'' Benjamin said. ''I came in here with not too many expectations. I told the media back in Rockford I'd be happy with fourth or fifth place this year. I knew I didn't have as good a team this year as last year.''
He added, ''It was nice to be in it on the last day. That's where you want to be.''
The host Jamestown CC Jayhawks had their worst round of the tournament, a 348, and they fell to ninth place with a 1,335 total.
Ryan Querreveld was JCC's leader with a 10-over 82. Other Jayhawks' scores were Casey Davidson 86, Ben Abbate 88, Jake Harp 92 and Corey Sands' 98 was thrown out.
''We just didn't have it today,'' JCC coach Ben Lindquist said. ''The guys looked good at breakfast and had the right attitude. Then we go out there and it was bad breaks and we couldn't make putts.''
Things appeared OK early in the round as Querreveld was 1 over after six holes. But then Lindquist checked on his other players and one had a couple of double-bogeys and a triple bogey. Then he heard another took a triple bogey and then another had a couple of double bogeys and a triple bogey.
''I realized pretty soon on the front that we just didn't have it going on today,'' he said. ''That's the way is. They played a lot of golf the last two or three weeks and maybe we just ran out of gas.''
But overall, Lindquist said, ''The kids worked hard and I couldn't ask for a better group of guys than what I had this year and I'm proud of what all of them did all year.''
Monroe CC 310-301-311-294-1,216
Rock Valley College 306-307-311-303-1,227
Cincinnati State T&CC 306-314-299-309-1,228
Genesee CC 304-308-312-316-1,240
Sandhills CC 319-306-319-318-1,262
Rochester T&CC 325-317-317-334-1,293
Bergen County College 322-314-328-332-1,296
Ocean County College 334-331-330-328-1,323
Jamestown CC 332-329-326-348-1,335
Georgia Military College 345-342-339-347-1,373
Rockland CC 354-333-338-349-1,374
Dean College 343-349-344-338-1,374
Montgomery College 351-346-343-343-1,383
TOP 15 INDIVIDUALS
Alex McKee, Monroe CC 79-72-74-72-297
Blake Harpenau Cincinnati T&CC 77-75-70-76-298
Evan Wartgow, Madison Area TC 74-72-76-76-298
Andrew Wilkerson, Rock Valley College 74-75-75-75-299
Kyle Nissen SUNY Ulster 72-79-71-77-299
Corey Kocent, Genesee CC 74-77-75-73-299
Josh VandenBush, Southwest Wisconsin TC78-72-80-70-300
Andrew Canfield, Rock Valley College 79-73-75-75-301
Elliot Barry Day, Rock Valley College 72-76-79-74-301
Eddie Huckabee, Lousiburg CC 71-77-79-75-302
Kyle Harman, Genesee CC 71-79-74-78-302
Shane Dobesh, Monroe CC 79-72-81-72-304
Mike Catalano, Monroe CC 76-76-79-75-306
J. De La Campa Beta, Dean College 76-76-80-76-308
Josh Bialecki, Cincinnati State TCC 73-77-83-76-309