(STATE COLLEGE, PA) -- Playing in their first USCAA Championship Event, the University of Maine-Presque Isle shook off some first round jitters, cut 11 strokes from its score in the 2nd round, and finished 7th overall at the event held at the Penn State Blue Course in College Station, PA. Another first time participant, Daemen College won the event by carding a team score of 29-over par, 605 in the two day event.
The Owls finished with a score of 91-over, 649 including rounds of 339 on Monday and 328 on Tuesday. Tuesday's score was the 6th best of the day in the 19-team field.
Reynold Brown (So./Essex, CT) led the Owls with rounds of 77 and 79 for a two day tally of 156, good enough for a tie of 9th place overall. Allen Connor (So./Stonington, ME) shot duplicate 84's which landed him in a tie for 37th in the 108 golfer field.
Mike Balmer (Jr./New Smyrna Beach, FL) and Anthony Batchelder (Jr./West Enfield, ME) made significant improvements in their 2nd round scoring. Balmer improved 7 strokes from a 90 to an 83 (T-54th) and Batchelder went from a 92 on day one to an 82 to finish one stroke behind Balmer (174) and finish T-58th. Eric Brown (So./Caribou, ME) closed out the five man team scoring with a 182 total, good enough for T-74th.
Owls' coach Dan Hotham was impressed by his team's performance on the big stage.
"To finish in 7th place in their first tournament of this magnitude is outstanding," said Hotham. "They all feel that as a team we could have scored better and are anxious to do so the next time if given the opportunity."
That opportunity would seem to be likely as all five team members to participate this year, are either sophomores or juniors.
"We were honored to be given the opportunity to represent our school in a national championship tournament. It was an all-around great experience," said the Florida native Balmer.
Batchelder provided a thrill after round 1 in the USCAA's first ever "Skills Competition". One player from each team was chosen to participate in one of the three events: longest drive, birdie ball chipping, and putting.
Batchelder took home the "gold" in the longest drive, crushing a 315-yard poke off the tee.
After the conclusion of Tuesday's 2nd round, the USCAA handed out post-season awards. Balmer and (Eric) Brown were presented with "All-Academic Team" honors while Reynold Brown was named a USCAA 2nd team All-American.