CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chowan University entered the CIAA Men’s Golf Championship on a mission after placing second last year and accomplished their goal for the school's first-ever championship title in the sport. The Hawks were steady both days to stave off defending champion Livingstone College and Fayetteville State University at the Larkhaven Golf Course.
“We won the North and South last year but lost in the championship, so our guys wanted it really bad,” said Chowan Head Coach Mike Ordnung, named CIAA Golf Coach of the Year during the post-tournament awards ceremony.
The Hawks hoisted the trophy after shooting a two-day score of 634. They finished six strokes ahead of defending champion Livingstone, who was runner-up after firing a 640 score. Fayetteville State came on strong the last day for a third-place score of 642.
2016 CIAA Golf Championship Final Standings
|5||Elizabeth City State||351||338||689||+113|
|7||Johnson C. Smith||397||417||814||+238|
Philip Harrison of Livingstone was crowned Low Medalist of the championship event. His two-day score of 151 was one stroke better than CIAA Golfer of the Year Jared Chinn of Fayetteville State and DeJuan Powell of Johnson C. Smith, who both shot 152. Those three golfers in addition to Stephen Washington of Livingstone (154) and Jordan Francis of Chowan (155) made the CIAA All-Tournament team, which consists of golfers with the five lowest scores.
Francis, an All-Tournament selection, was one of five Hawks who placed among the top 15 individually. Steven Rhinard tied for seventh and Rich Edwards placed ninth while Billy Britton tied for 11th. Christian Fleetwood finished 15th for the Hawks, who relied on depth, consistency and motivation to win the league crown.
CIAA Golf Championship All-Tournament Team
|t||2||Jared Chin||Fayetteville State||75||77||152||+8|
|t||2||DeJuan Powell||Johnson C. Smith||73||79||152||+8|
“We wanted it terribly bad,” Francis said. “We were right there last year but blew up. All of our guys played solid [this year].”
Still, Coach Ordnung was uncertain of victory until the final results were posted. The Hawks held a slim one stroke lead over Livingstone entering the day and both teams battled to the wire until the end.
“Livingstone fought,” Ordnung said. “They were right there, shot-for-shot. We didn’t have it wrapped up until the last golfer scored.”
|Runner-up: Livingstone College|
Ordnung was impressed how the Hawks outlasted the eight-team field and the course. He said his team showed fortitude during the tournament.
“The course and conditions were really tough,” Ordnung said. “The first three holes out the gate are three of the toughest starting holes you will ever play in golf. Perseverance really carried us through. I want to thank all the guys for working really hard. I have the best group in the nation.”
Athletic Director and Head Coach Andre Springs of Livingstone was also proud of his team. The Blue Bears gave Chowan fierce competition and produced the individual champion.
“I told our guys that second is not bad,” Springs said. “You can’t win it all the time. We played well, Chowan played well. It was tight. We gave it a good shot.”
“I am excited for Phil to accomplish that goal,” Springs added about his individual champion. “He is a first-class guy and a 4.0 [grade point average] student so we are talking about a great student-athlete. I can’t say enough about him.”
Both programs have risen to league prominence recently. In addition to capturing the league crown, Chowan has picked up the CIAA
|Third Place: Fayetteville State|
runner-up trophy, claimed the Northern Division Tournament twice and won the Southern Division Tournament once in a two-year span since Ordnung took over the program. During that same period, Livingstone won a CIAA title, claimed the CIAA runner-up trophy, placed third in the PGA Minority National Championships, and won the league individual title.
“We are definitely going in the right direction after winning the championship last year, being runner-up this year and [Harrison] winning it individually,” said Springs, who is in his sixth year as Livingstone’s golf coach. “It is another goal we have accomplished.”
Ordnung praised his mother Ellen, the former Chowan head coach, for setting the foundation for this year’s championship. Ellen is currently the assistant coach.
“I have to give all the credit to my mother,” Ordnung said. “She had the program headed in this direction before I became coach.”
Below is the All-CIAA golf team, which includes student-athletes with the top 10 lowest averages throughout the entire golf season.
- Jared Chinn (FSU) - 74.5
- Philip Harrison (LC) – 76.8
- DeJuan Powell (JCSU) – 77.7
- Stephen Washington (LC) – 78.7
- Jordan Francis (CU) – 78.8
- Joshua Mohun (VUU) – 79.3
- Steven Rhinard (CU) – 79.3
- Billy Britton (CU) – 80.0
- Tyler Futrell (ECSU) – 80.3
- Rich Edwards (CU) – 81.3
CIAA Golfer of the Year
Jared Chinn (FSU)
For the complete 2016 CIAA Golf Championship statistics, click HERE.