EVENT: 2013 USCAA Championships
WHERE: State College, PA
COURSE: Penn State Blue
SUMMARY: The Apprentice School golf team might have fallen short of its team goal of the 2013 U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship, they did manage to bring home a little more hardware.
Senior Ben Hunter won his second USCAA Individual National Championship on Tuesday as he birdied the first-playoff hole on the Penn State Blue Course in State College, Pa. Hunter, a rigger apprentice from Suffolk, carded a one-over-par 73 to end at 146.
He tied Rochester College's Bailey Matheison for the medalist honor and they went to the 18th hole to start the playoff. Hunter had his shot from four-feet after Matheison's birdie attempt lipped out. He knew what he needed to get to accomplish his goal. "I kept saying to myself to finish it now, don't give him another chance," said Hunter. "This is your moment, execute."
Hunter dropped in his four-foot putt to win his second USCAA National Championship. With the honor, he is the first USCAA golfer to win two individual championships and is the first four-time USCAA All-American golfer in Apprentice School.
"I am truly honored and blessed to win today," Hunter said. "I give God all the glory. I get the trophies, but he gets the glory. I'm just so grateful and fortunate to have the ability to perform and represent The Apprentice School."
He was joined on the All-American teams by junior Kyle Mutter who rebounded from a rough start Tuesday to finish tied for tenth place and earn second team All-American honors. Mutter, a coating specialist apprentice from Portsmouth, was seven-over-par through the first seven holes but rallied to play the final 11 in two-under par. He finished with a 77 on Tuesday for a 153 total and is now a three-time USCAA All-American.
The Builders shot 317 as a team on Tuesday to finish with a 643 total and take sixth place out of the 19-teams entered. Jordan Ritz rebounded from a tough first round by carding an 82 on Tuesday to finish at 173 and tied for 48th. Eric Johnston (85-174) and Michael Hastings (86-174) finished in a tie for 51st to lead the scoring Builders on Tuesday. Daemen College (NY) topped the field carding a three-over-par 291 to win the event for the second year in a row with a 588 total.
A quick turnaround for the Builders as they'll head to Winchester, Va. for the Virginia State Golf Association Division III Championships on Sunday and Monday.
Photo courtesy of USCAA National Office