By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Plymouth, Ind.---Bandit Chaisuk (Nong Khai, Thailand) shot a final round 2-under 70 as the Owens Community College men's golf team finished fifth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Tournament at Swan Creek Resort.
With the result, Owens ties its best finish in program history with the 2014 team. Furthermore, DiGiacomo finished 15th individually to earn NJCAA Second Team All-American recognition, as well as a place on the NJCAA Division II All-National Tournament team.
DiGiacomo's individual finish is the best for an Owens golfer in program history. He overtook Harrison Long's 16th place finish in 2014.
In today's final round, Owens shot a 296 as a team, which was their third straight round with a sub-300 score. For the second straight round, Chaisuk picked up five birdies and continued to lower his score each round. After shooting a first round 84, he shot a 77 and 73 before his 70 this afternoon to finish tied for 44th place.
DiGiacomo overcame a trio of double bogeys today to shoot a 3-over 75. He finished the tournament with a 4-over 292 to tie for 13th place. Following USGA tiebreaker rules, he ended up in 15th place.
Dylan Holsclaw (Plainfield/Plainfield, Ill.) fired a final round 6-over 78 to shoot a 302, which put him in a tie for 37th place. His teammate, Karit Kitipongpatana (St. Dominic School/Bangkok, Thailand) also tied for 37th place as he shot a final round 3-over 75 to finished with a 302.
Will Mullins (St. Bernadette's/Bristol, United Kingdom) shot his second best round of the tournament with a final round 4-over 76 to shoot 318 for the tournament and in an 83rd place tie.
As a team, Owens finished with a four-round total of 37-over 1,189, which was just three strokes behind fourth place Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Kirkwood Community College out of Iowa and Tyler Junior College out of Texas tied for second place with a 1,158 (6-over), and they are currently in a playoff to determine second place. Meanwhile, South Mountain Community College out of Arizona fired a 1,138 (14-under) to win the national championship.
Marco Maldanado of Tyler Junior College four putted the final hole to finish one stroke back of South Mountain's Justin Warren and Kirkwood's Carson Whittington. Those two are also currently in a playoff for first place.
With their finish, Owens posted their fourth straight top 10 finish in national tournament play. They finished 9th last year, fifth in 2014, 10th in 2013. They also finished 10th in 2008 and 14th in 2006. In the 11 years of the program, Owens went to the national tournament six times.
DiGiacomo became the sixth NJCAA All-American in program history. He joins Harrison Long (Honorable Mention, 2015), Philippe Weppernig (Second Team, 2014), Harrison Long (Second Team, 2014), Brandon Hoelzer (Honorable Mention, 2013) and Joey Bussdiekder (Honorable Mention, 2006).
Furthermore, DiGiacomo became only the third Owens golfer to garner NJCAA Division II All-National Tournament team recognition. He joins Harrison Long and Philippe Weppernig, who both made the team in 2014. The all-tournament team goes to the top 18 golfers in the tournament.