EMCC Lions place third in regular-season finale in advance of MACCC Men’s Golf Championship

Published 10:39 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023

MERIDIAN – The East Mississippi Community College men’s golf team closed out the 2022-23 MACCC regular-season slate by placing third in this week’s Lou Hart Invitational played at Northwood Country Club. Hosted by Meridian Community College, the two-day tournament concluded Tuesday afternoon.

EMCC carded consistent rounds of 302 and 300 to finish the regular-season finale behind only nationally third-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast (275-278—553) and No. 13 Meridian (289-285—574). The Lions entered the tournament ranked 33rd nationally in the latest Golfstat NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Rankings. This week’s third-place finish marked the Lions’ highest of the spring slate and their best showing since a runner-up finish this past fall at Meridian’s Briarwood Golf Club.

“Overall, it was a good tournament for us,” EMCC head men’s golf coach Ashton Maddaloni noted. “I saw tremendous improvement in certain areas from everyone, especially on the mental side. We all kept our composure really well out there.”

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Sophomore Matthew Phillips once again led East Mississippi’s quintet by firing rounds of 1-over-par 72 on Monday followed by Tuesday’s 75 to finish 10th overall with a two-day score of 147. This week marked the fourth top-10 finish of the season for the Columbus Christian Academy product.

The play of freshman Carter Martin also contributed to EMCC’s solid team finish among this week’s 11-team field by posting his fourth straight top-20 finish with a two-day total of 149. On the heels of notching his collegiate-best, sixth-place showing two weeks ago with a trio of 72s at the Delta State-hosted Derrall Foreman Invitational, Martin followed up this week by finishing in a five-way tie for 12th place. The Canton Academy product shot a season-best, even-par 71 during Tuesday’s final round to improve seven strokes and 15 places from his opening-round 78.

EMCC freshman Daniel Martin, out of Parrish, Ala., also continued his improved play with rounds of 77 and 78 to tie for 29th place with teammate and Mississippi Gulf Coast transfer Spence Davis (75-80-155).

Fellow freshman Ben Boggan, from Benton Academy, also stepped up for the Lions by moving up 14 places and improving five strokes with his final-round 76 to tie for 35th place among the 62-player field.

“We’ve gained some momentum and confidence heading into postseason, and I’m excited for the conference championship,” Maddaloni added. “Hopefully we can qualify for the district tournament as a team. I think we’re definitely capable.”

The 2023 MACCC Men’s Golf Championship, hosted by Pearl River Community College, is scheduled for April 4-5 at The Oaks Golf Club in Pass Christian.