13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
The No. 3 Owens Community College men's golf team won the Owens Invitational today to capture the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championship at Belmont Country Club today.
Additionally, sophomore Brandon Hoelzer (Fremont Ross/Fremont, Ohio) earned OCCAC Player of the Year honors, while Philippe Weppernig (Luzern, Switzerland) earned medalist honors in today's Owens Invitational.
Today's event also counted as the Sub-Region XII tournament for the three National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II teams in the tournament. Thus, Owens and Columbus State Community College, who finished 1-3 today will advance to next weekend's Region XII tournament.
Weppernig's 71 led all golfers today, while Harrison Long's (Wilnecote/Tamworth, U.K.) 73 was good for second place. Aside from those two, Hoelzer shot a 76,Timothy Dawkins (Big Rapids/Big Rapids, Mich.) shot an 80, Dru Hein(Jasper/Jasper, Ind.) shot an 82 and Kirby Manown (Belle Vernon/Belle Vernon, Penn.) shot an 87.
Individually, three Express golfers participated today, led by Riley Robinson's (St. Mary Catholic Central/Monroe, Mich.) 81. Tyler Crossley (Jonathan Alder/Plain City, Ohio) added a 96 and Ian Mowry (Fremont Ross/Fremont, Ohio) had a 112.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College finished second in today's event with a 321 team score, while Columbus State shot a 326 for third place. Lakeland Community College (348) and Lorain County Community College (353) rounded out the top five.
Today's event was the final conference tournament of the season. Hoelzer's 446 total over six events gave him an average of 74.33, which was good for first place and OCCAC Player of the Year honors.
His teammate, Long, finished second with a 452/75.33 average, while there was a three way tie for third place between Weppernig, Taylor Suggs of Cincinnati State and Matt Nickoson of Cincinnati State. Those three each had a total of 459 and an average of 76.50.
All five of those players earned First Team All-OCCAC honors.
Manown (479/79.83 average) finished in the top 10 to earn Second Team All-OCCAC honors, while Express men's golf head coach Josh Williams was named the OCCAC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive time.
The Express, as a team, captured their second straight OCCAC championship today. It is the program's fifth OCCAC championship overall. This year's team won five of the six conference tournaments, while finishing second in the other one. The team also captured their second straight Sub-Region XII tournament championship today.
With their qualifying score today, the Express men's golf team will take part in the Region XII tournament, which starts with next weekend's practice rounds on Saturday and Sunday. The tournament will then be held the following two days, May 12-13.
First things first, all the teams that played today will take part in the OCCAC Ryder Cup event tomorrow at Belmont Country Club, with the first shot taking place at 11 a.m. The event is just a fun way to wrap up the regular season and none of the events count towards OCCAC standings.