Beard wins medalist; No. 1 MGCCC finishes 2nd

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast couldn’t hold on to the lead against a tough Central Alabama team in the Coastal Alabama Invitational, but David Beard made his first-round lead stand up to claim medalist honors.


Beard won by one shot over Eastern Florida State’s Matt Gauntlett for his first collegiate victory. It came on the tough Azalea Course at The Lakewood Club in Fairhope, Ala.

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“David had a great fall,” Gulf Coast coach Brad Thornton said. “We knew if he kept progressing, he’d get the first collegiate win. I’m very proud of him, and I think they’ll be more to come if he continues putting gin the work.”


Beard shot 2-over 74 to pick up the victory. Reeves Johnson (So., Madison/Germantown), who shared the first-round lead with Beard, finished tied for fifth at 1-over for 36 holes. Alessio Graziani (Fr., Johannesburg, South Africa/Beaulieu College) was tied for eighth another shot back.


Gulf Coast led by 11 shots after Monday, but the problems began Tuesday when Matt Wilkinson (So., Madison/Madison Central) had to withdraw because of back tightness.


“Seems like nothing went in our favor today,” Thornton said. “We were stuck with four players, and then it just comes down to execution. To beat a team like Central Alabama, you’ve got to be on your A-game, and today we weren’t quite there.”


Central Alabama, which is ranked fourth by the NJCAA Division I coaches, shot 3-over to win by three shots.


The Bulldogs, who top the Division II coaches poll, finished six shots ahead of EFSU, which is seventh in D-I.


Team scores

School                              Score

  1. Central Alabama            292-291—583 (+7)
  2. Gulf Coast                     281-305—586 (+10)

T3. Eastern Florida State   295-297—592 (+16)

T3. Jefferson State             297-295—592 (+16)

T5. Calhoun                      295-305—600 (+24)

T5. Wallace State              297-303—600 (+24)

  1. Coastal Alabama           304-301—605 (+29)
  2. Snead State                    309-299—608 (+32)
  3. Southern Union State     313-307—620 (+44)
  4. Northeast Mississippi   307-318—625 (+49)
  5. Andrew                       320-333—653 (+77)
  6. East Central                 334-344—678 (+102)
  7. Bishop State                345-341—686 (+110)

MGCCC scores

Player                              Score

  1. David Beard                  68-74—142 (-2)

T5. Reeves Johnson           68-77—145 (+1)

T8. Alessio Graziani          71-75—146 (+2)

T28. Ethan Trouth             74-79—153 (+9)

T45. Spence Davis*           80-80—160 (+16)

T51. Hayden Russell*        82-81—163 (+19)

  1. Matt Wilkinson            82-WD

*—Playing as an individual


For more information on MGCCC’s 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to