FAMU golf team captures first MEAC championship
Special to the Outlook
GREENSBORO, N.C. –– The Florida A&M men’s golf program claimed its first-ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Golf Championship and trip to the NCAA tournament, winning by a remarkable 19 strokes at the Bryan Park Golf Club in Greensboro, N.C.
The Rattlers will find out their matchup on May 5 for the national championship tournament, which is scheduled for May 28-June 2 at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Rattlers cruised to the title, holding the lead after each of the three rounds, firing a 35-over-par 755. The next closest competitor was North Carolina A&T who shot a 54-over-par 774. Howard University (+62) and North Carolina Central (+94) rounded out the standings.
In the final round, FAMU outpaced the field shooting a 301 (+13).
“We just made history for FAMU. I’m just excited for our guys, it’s truly all about them,” said FAMU head golf coach Mike Rice. “They worked extremely hard for this moment over the past three to four years and I couldn’t be any prouder of what they’ve accomplished this season.”
Individually, the Rattlers had five golfers finish inside of the top five. Ethan Mangum led the tournament from start to finish, winning the individual championship by shooting a three round total 4-over-par 184 (70-39-75). Mangum was also named the tournament’s “Most Outstanding Performer.”
Mahindra Lutchman and Prince Cunningham claimed the third and fourth positions, respectively. Lutchman shot a 9-over-par 189 (75-40-74) while Cunningham carded an 11-over-par 191 (75-39-77). Lutchman and Cunningham were both named to the MEAC All-Tournament team.
Mulbe Dillard rounded out the top five, winning fifth place with a 13-over-par 193 (77-41-75).
Cameron Riley secured a tie for 12th place with a 20-over par 200 (78-40-82).
Rice took home the MEAC’s “Outstanding Coach” award after guiding the Rattlers to their first conference championship in school history.
“We’re extremely proud of student-athletes for fighting through the adversity this year,” said FAMU Director of Athletics Kortne Gosha. “Their hard work and dedication is a direct reflection of the standard of excellence that delivered the program’s first championship in school history.”
FAMU now awaits the NCAA Selection Show where the Rattlers will find out where they will begin their quest for an NCAA crown. The program will air May 5 on the Golf Channel at a time to be announced.