MAAC Championships Preview

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
Release: April 25, 2013
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Courtesy: Brian David Solomon (Rider University)
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College Golf
Rider Heads South for
MAAC Championships April 26-28

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—The Rider University golf team heads to Florida this weekend for the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship.

The 54-hole, three-day event will be contested at Disney’s Palm Golf Course in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, a par-72, 7,011 yard venue on April 26-28.

“The team is coming along and showing potential and you need that heading into the championships,” said head coach Bob Whartenby who is completing his seventh season at Rider.  “Getting a score around 310 is going to keep us in the team competition.”

Rider is led by junior James Buttermark (Staten Island, N.Y/Monsignor Farrell), the 25th ranked golfer in the MAAC as listed by GolfStat.  In seven tournaments this season (15 rounds), Buttermark had an average score of 79.27 with a low round of 74 at the Colgate Invitational where he placed ninth out of 54 golfers.

Last season, Buttermark was 22nd at the MAAC championships (231) after earning All-MAAC honors with a seventh place finish (230) as a Rider rookie.

Listed at 27th in the conference stats is Bronc senior Beau Guarino (Burlington Township).  Guarino has averaged 79.80 in 15 rounds this season with a low round of 74 at the Binghamton Invitational.  Guarino’s best finish of the season was 21st out of 54 competitors at the Cornell Invitational.

Fresh off a sixth place finish (out of 63 golfers) at the Metro Honda Peacock Invitational on April 23, senior Evan McGrain (West Windsor/W. Windsor-Plainsboro South) enters play 30th in the MAAC and averaged 80.46 in 13 rounds this season.  McGrain shot a low round of 73 twice this season, at the Lafayette Invitational and at the Peacock Invitational, finishing one shot out of a tie for the lead.

Sophomore Luke Liddell (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) is 31st in the conference entering the championship and averaged 81.07 in 15 rounds this season.  Liddell’s low round of the season came at the La Salle Invitational where he tied for seventh place after scoring a 75.

As a rookie, Liddell was 42nd after a three-round total of 258 at the 2012 MAAC championships.  Liddell shot 85 on the final day after opening with rounds of 80 and 93.

Sophomore Cole Clark (Califon/Voorhees) rounds out the competitors for Rider.  Clark’s low round for the season was a 75 at the La Salle Invitational, where he finished tied for seventh place.

As a Rider rookie, Clark tied for 30th place after rounds of 80-78-81 (239) at the 2012 MAAC championships.

Loyola University Maryland heads into the tournament as the five-time defending MAAC champions and are listed first in the conference GolfStat rankings with an average team score of 303.00 this season.  Saint Peter’s had an average score of 303.55 and won three events during the season.  Fairfield averaged a team score of 303.60, Iona 304.81, Canisius 308.00, Manhattan 310.64, Siena 316.71, Rider 317.87 and Niagara 329.13.  Canisius and Manhattan each won events during the year.

Last season, Rider finished eighth of nine teams with a team score of 953 after rounds of 314-316-323.

“Our goal is to be more mentally prepared this year heading down to Florida,” Whartenby said.  “We have a group of guys that for the most part have played in this type of pressure event and I think we will have a batter showing than in 2012.”

In 2011, Rider was also eighth of nine teams with a three-round total of 977 (328-326-323).

In 2010, Rider was third (302-312-300) with a score of 914 and in 2009, the Broncs were sixth (941) after rounds of 304, 319 and 318.

In 2008, Rider was the runner-up with scores of 303-295-295, for a total of 893 and the Broncs were fifth in 2007 (921) with rounds of 306, 301 and 326.

The individual champion will receive McLeod Memorial Award tray engraved by JJ Mele of Pelham who has prepared every award offered by the program and the 2013 Champion will have their names inscribed on the permanent McLeod Memorial Award Tray.

The Charles "Scott" McLeod Award has been presented annually since 1986 to the men's and women's individual winners of the MAAC Championship. The award has been presented in memory of a graduate of Pelham Memorial High School '75 and Iona College '80, who passed away in 1985. Scott McLeod was an enthusiastic golfer, a member of the Pelham Country Club, and a sponsor of the MAAC Golf Championship when the event was first held at Pelham.

The MAAC champion will receive an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division I Golf Championships.

Highlights from all three rounds, as well as a preview of pairing match-ups for the following day, produced by ESPN, will be available on MAAC.TV at the end of each day. The final day of the championship will be broadcast on ESPN3 following the completion of the event.

In addition, live scoring will be available via for all three days of the championships. The live results will be updated on every third hole.

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