DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Mount St. Mary's men's golf team remains in the lead and in contention for its first league championship after the second round of the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championships on Saturday. Kevin Ellison (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) remains one stroke behind the current leader in second place.
The Mount, who went into the day with a four-stroke lead over Fairleigh Dickinson, posted the second-best round on the afternoon with a 303 for a two-day total of 600 and a nine-stroke lead against the Knights and Sacred Heart. The Pioneers had the best round of the day with a 300. Mount St. Mary's will go into the final round looking for its first NEC title on Sunday and will be paired with Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart.
Ellison shot an even-round 72 in the second day of competition. The sophomore was two under on the front nine after a bogey on the second hole and three-straight birdies on five, six and seven, but bogeyed No. 10 and 12 to finish the day even and with a two-day score of 145, one stroke behind Sacred Heart's Leo Garcia (144). Ellison looks to become the first Mount golfer to win the conference medalist honors since Dennis Toomey in 1990 and 1991 and the first Mountaineer to finish in the Top-5 since 1998. The two-round score of 145 ties four former Mount players with the top mark in team history at the NEC Championships and his even round is the fifth-best in program history.
Danny Michalek (Mount Airy, Md./Mount St. Joseph) and Devin O'Grady (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) are tied for seventh after two days with a score of 151. Michalek posted the better round on Saturday after carding a 76 after registering a birdie, three bogeys and a double bogey in the 18 holes. O'Grady, who finished ninth at the championships last year, recorded five bogeys on the day for his 77. The 151 is the 10th-best mark in program history at the NEC Championships.
Tonny Aizpun (Barcelona, Spain/Lycee Francais De Barcelone) sits in 14th place after a two-round score of 153. The sophomore had one birdie, five bogeys and a double bogey on the day. Ryan Triller (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) is 39th with a score of 162.
Mount St. Mary's has posted two of the Top-10 rounds in program history at the league championships. The squad carded the fourth-best mark in the first round (297) and the seventh-best score in the second round (300) for the second-lowest two-round score (600) in team history.
The Mount goes into the final round with a nine-stroke lead against Fairleigh Dickinson (609) and Sacred Heart (609) while Saint Francis (Pa.) (614), LIU Brooklyn (618), Central Connecticut State (618), Robert Morris (621), Monmouth (627), Wagner (656) and St. Francis (N.Y.) (688) round out the 10-team field.
Mount St. Mary's will be in the final pairing with Sacred Heart and Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday for the NEC Championships final round. The three teams will be teeing off on the first hole. Triller will hit the links at 8:50 a.m., Aizpun at 9 a.m., Michalek at 9:10 a.m., O'Grady at 9:20 a.m. and Ellison will be the final Mount golfer on the course at 9:30 a.m. Ellison will be paired with Garcia from the Pioneers , who leads the sophomore by one stroke.