Sept. 10, 2010
Navy Fall Classic History
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's golf team will play host to the 17th edition of the Navy Fall Classic on Saturday and Sunday at the par-71 USNA Golf Course in Annapolis with 18 holes set for both days. Teams will tee off between 8:30 and 11:00 am on both days.
The Midshipmen will field three teams -- Navy Blue, Gold and White -- in the 16-team tournament, and will be joined by Brown, Delaware, Drexel, George Washington, Georgetown, La Salle, McDaniel College, Penn, Rollins College, Siena, Saint Joseph's, Towson and Villanova.
"We are looking forward to hosting the fall classic in what I think is an outstanding field," said Pat Owen, who begins his 21st year as Navy's head coach. "With just two seniors on the roster, we have a young team but I'm excited to see our team play. The course is in great condition and we are expecting a fantastic weekend of golf."
In the 16 years the Navy Fall Classic has been played, only two teams have claimed the tournament title more than once -- Navy and George Mason. The Mids won the tournament in 1993 and again in `95 and `96, while the Patriots won the inaugural invitational in 1992 and again in 2005. Navy, George Washington, Georgetown and Towson are not only among this year's field, but also previous winners of the Navy Fall Classic. Several of the of the other teams playing this weekend have competed in the annual fall tournament over the years, including Saint Joseph's who has produced three individual medalists.
Last fall, Northwestern (282-270 -- 552) became the 13th different winner of the annual Navy Fall Classic, cruising to an 14-stroke victory over Navy. The Wildcats trailed the host Midshipmen by three strokes after the opening round, but came back to post a blistering 14-under par 270 in the final round to take the team title. Led by all-conference performer Ben Hayes' third-place finish, the Mids shot a 3-over par 284 in the second round to place second with a 2-under par 566 (279-287). Four of Northwestern's five players finished among the top eight, including Sam Chien (71-64 -- 135) who came from behind to edge teammate Brendan Kelly (69-68 -- 137) for medalist honors.
While the Mids are fairly young, they lost just two seniors off last year's team. The top four players off last year's squad in terms of stroke average return, including senior Ben Hayes
(Carmichael, Calif.) who not only boasted a 74.1 stroke average a year ago, he was Navy's top finisher in eight of the nine events over the course of the season including all five in the spring. Along the way, Hayes picked up All-Patriot League honors and won the Navy Spring Invitational for the second time in his career.
Juniors Peter Reilly (Merrimack, N.H.), Tim Shield (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) and Tyler Kuhn (Louisville, Ky.) return after enjoying break through years. A two-time All-Patriot League performer, Reilly was one of three players to see action in all nine tournaments a year ago and owned the team's second-lowest average of 76.7. He placed among the top 20 in five events and the top 10 in a pair. Shield, meanwhile, also competed in all nine events, including the Rehoboth Beach Fall Invitational where he placed fourth, marking his first collegiate top-five performance. He produced a 77.6 stroke average on the year which featured a pair of top-10 finishes and four top-20 marks. Kuhn, who finished the 2009-10 campaign with a 78.3 average, played particularly well at the end of the spring season where he earned a career-best 18th-place finish at the Navy Spring Invitational with a 10-over par 152.
Navy, who fields a team of 16 players, will put five new faces out on the links this weekend -- David Hall (Huntersville, N.C.), Chris House (Raleigh, N.C.), Bobby Keating (Garden City, N.Y.), Sean Murphy (Hudson, Ohio) and Drew Selby (Charlotte, N.C.).
This weekend's Navy Fall Classic officially kicks off the 2010-11 season which features six events during the fall season. In addition to the five tournaments on the schedule, Army and Navy will converge in West Point where they will battle in the annual Star Match. Also highlighting the schedule is the Wolfpack Intercollegiate at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, N.C.
2010 Fall Schedule: Sept. 11-12 -- Navy Fall Invitational (Annapolis, Md.); Sept. 18-19 -- Maryland Intercollegiate (Cambridge, Md.); Sept. 25-26 -- Army - Star Match (West Point, N.Y.); Oct. 4-5 -- Wolfpack Intercollegiate (Raleigh, N.C.); Oct. 4-5 -- Service Academy Classic (Andrews Air Force Base, Md.); Oct. 15-17 -- Northeast Invitational (Charlestown, R.I.).
### Go Navy ###