GREENWOOD, Ind. – The 2017 HCAC men's golf tournament gets underway this weekend in Harrison, Ohio. The men's golf championship will be a 72-hole format with the first two rounds set for the 6,650 yard par 71 Miami Whitewater Golf Course on Saturday and Sunday. The final rounds will take place at Hulman Links Golf Course in Terre Haute, Indiana on May 6-7.
The conference champion will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships which will be held on May 16-19 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
Transylvania University will enter the tournament as the 10-time defending champion. The Pioneers earned their 10th conference championship, defeating second place Mount St. Joseph by 11 strokes last spring.
Transylvania led the HCAC field at the Mount St. Joseph and Rose-Hulman championship previews, that featured eight conference teams, earlier this sesaon. The Pioneers won the Mount St. Joseph Invitational, finishing 2 shots ahead of second place Otterbein, and 15 strokes ahead of fourth place Hanover College. At the Rose-Hulman Invitational, the Pioneers tied Kalamazoo for first place and finished just two strokes ahead of third place Mount St. Joseph University.
Transylvania heads into the conference tournament with a younger roster, and will look to replace the Pioneers' three all-conference honorees from last spring. In the latest poll, the Pioneers are ranked No. 3 in the Great Lakes Region heading into the first and second rounds of the conference championship.
Defiance College returns Alex Miday (Canton, Ohio / St. Thomas), the HCAC Most Valuable Player from last spring. Miday carded a four-round total of 295 (68-72-77-78), and is currently averaging 76.5 strokes per round this season. Yellow Jackets senior Jacob Tinsley (Eaton, Ohio / Eaton) joins Miday as a returning All-HCAC selection, and is averaging 77.0 strokes per round this season.
Mount St. Joseph University returns one All-HCAC selection this season. Senior Andrew Booth (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) boasted a four-round total of 301 strokes at last year's HCAC championships. Booth is averaging the lowest score (76.7) on the Lions roster this spring. Mount St. Joseph has received very consistent play from their whole lineup this season, placing four players on the top 15 scoring average list for the conference this season.
Hanover's Justin Smith (Indianapolis, Ind. / Franklin Central) returns for the Panthers as the lone All-HCAC selection from last spring. The sophomore has an average score of 79.2 this season.
The top eight finishers after the four rounds are complete will earn All-HCAC honors. The top freshman finisher will receive the Freshman of the Year award. Action will get underway Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.