LORTON, Va. - The James Madison men's golf team improved on the final day and finished sixth at the 2012 CHAMPS/Patriot Intercollegiate, Sept. 29-30. The two-day, 54-hole tournament was played at Laurel Hill Golf Club (Par 71 - 6,857 yards).
Sitting in seventh through two rounds, the Dukes posted their best round of the tournament and second-best round of the season with a 4-over 288 in the last 18 to move up to sixth at 35-over 887. Missouri led wire-to-wire and took home the team title with a total of 3-under 849, 24 shots better than runner-up Penn at 21-over 873. Villanova was third at 22-over 874, with CAA-rivals Hofstra and Delaware rounding out the top five teams at 25-over 877 and 28-over 880, respectively. Other CAA schools included Towson in seventh, George Mason in 10th and Drexel in 11th.
Sophomore Trey Smith (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) also improved one spot in the final round with his 1-over 72 putting him at 4-over 217 for the tournament in a tie for 11th. It was Smith's third straight time this season leading JMU in scoring and his second top-11 finish of the year. Senior Rich Leeper (Chapel Hill, N.C./Carrboro) jumped 20 spots in the final round with a 1-under 70 to finish in a tie for 29th with teammate senior Ryan Vince (Charlotte, N.C./Providence), who moved up nine slots, at 10-over 223. Junior Tucker Koch (Malvern, Pa. /Malvern Prep.) tied for 46th at 16-over 229, with junior Ben Firebaugh (Roanoke, Va./William Byrd (Newberry)) completing the Madison effort in a tie for 68th at 25-over 238. Individually, the Dukes had three freshmen competing on their own. In his first collegiate tournament, Connor Walters (Salem, Va./North Cross) tied for 42nd at 15-over 228 while Tyler Williams (Hilton Head Island, S.C./Hilton Head Prep) finished one shot back in a tie for 46th at 16-over 229. Chris Kapsak (Richmond, Va./Trinity Episcopal), also seeing his first collegiate action, finished 73rd at 29-over 242 after a final round 5-over 76, his best round of the tournament.
Missouri's Jace Long shot a final round 4-under 67 to take home medalist honors at 4-under 209, two shots better than teammate and second-round leader Emilio Cuartero and Villanova's Michael Kania, who tied at 2-under 211.
JMU returns to the course on Mon.-Tue., Oct. 15-16 at the Donald Ross Intercollegiate. The two-day tournament, hosted by Appalachian State, will be played at Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, N.C.