April 1, 2004
After playing its first-three spring
tournaments away from Annapolis, the Navy golf team returns home to play
host to the 25th Annual Navy Spring Invitational this Saturday and
Sunday at the par 71 USNA Golf Course in Annapolis with 18 holes set for
The Midshipmen will field two teams - Navy Blue and Navy Gold -
in the 22-team tournament, along with Anne Arundel Community College,
Binghamton, Bucknell, Colgate, Columbia, Delaware, George Washington,
Iona, Johnson & Wales, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Methodist,
Pennsylvania, Princeton, Rider, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph's, Villanova
and William & Mary.
In last year's action, Navy overcame an 11-stroke deficit to win
the team title. The Midshipmen actually tied Johnson & Wales with a
21-over par 581, but Johnson & Wales had to leave the tournament to
catch a flight back to Florida and was unable to compete in a playoff to
break the tie, giving Navy the crown.
Individually, Navy golfers Brian
Crum and Billy Hurley (Leesburg, Va.) finished first and second,
respectively, in the tournament with Crum (139, -1) edging out Hurley by
one stroke (140, E).
"We are looking forward to hosting the 25th-Annual Navy Spring
Invitational this weekend," said Navy head coach Pat Owen. "We have a
strong contingent of teams coming in to compete, including Princeton,
William & Mary and George Washington, all top-10 teams in the NCAA
Middle Atlantic region. Also competing is seven-time NCAA Div. III
Champion Methodist College."
Owen will send out the Navy Blue team utilizing the Mids' most
veteran lineup. Seniors Hurley, Joey Kistler (Savannah, Ga.) and Rob
Stochel (Crown Point, Ind.) will lead the pack, while juniors Rocky
Novellino (Bayville, N.J.) and Braxton Mashburn (Memphis, Tenn.) will
complete the group of five. Hurley, ranked No. 24 in the nation
according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, has been the
steadiest of Navy's players.
Coming off medalist honors at the William
& Mary Invitational a week ago, Hurley owns a 71.4 stroke average over
eight rounds this spring. Novellino has turned in the second-lowest
stroke average, posting a 75.5 average which included a low round of 69
at the Moe O'Brien Memorial Invitational. Kistler is also in the 70s,
as he owns a 77.2 stroke average through six rounds in a combined two
The Navy Gold squad will feature Navy's up-and-coming members.
With freshman Jeremy Garner (Fayetteville, Ga.) undergoing shoulder
surgery recently, the Navy Gold team will be represented by four
members, junior B.J. Brumley (Bartlesville, Okla.) and freshmen Rob
Eidson (Johnson City, Tenn.), Michael Pierce (Houston, Texas) and Bryan
Stoniecki (Montgomery, Ill.). Stoniecki saw spot time in the lineup
last spring, however, Pierce and Eidson are newcomers to the lineup this
The Navy Gold team will tee off at 8 a.m. Saturday, while the
Navy Blue squad is slated for a 9:15 a.m. tee time.