No. 1 Bulldogs aim for 15th MACCC title

Published 3:41 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

PERKINSTON — After winning all six MACCC regular-season events, the No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast golf team might be expected to show some complacency.


Coach Brad Thornton said he’s not concerned about that as the team plays in the conference championship tournament starting Tuesday at The Oaks Golf Club in Pass Christian.

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“The dynamic of this team has always been about being competitive,” he said. “I think they understand what’s at stake here with the postseason. I think they’ve taken that level of accountability and run with it.”


Gulf Coast has won seven matches in a row, including the first MACCC event at the course in February. The Bulldogs won that by 36 shots, and if they win this one they will set a school record for tournament victories in a season with 10.


They will be shooting for the school’s 15th MACCC title, but the first since 2019. COVID canceled the 2020 season and the Bulldogs finished second the last two seasons before winning the district title.


Thornton will send Chase Kaiser (So., Natchez/Cathedral), Will Burnham (Fr., Jackson/Jackson Prep), Andrew Zielinski (Fr., Ocean Springs/Ocean Springs), Alessio Graziani (So., Johannesburg, South Africa/Beaulieu College) and Jackson Wise (Fr., Pontotoc/North Pontotoc) out in the first round. Kyle Davidson (Fr., Kyalami, South Africa/St. Peter’s College) will be available if a substitute is needed in Wednesday’s final round.


Gulf Coast finished 1-under in the 36-hole event in February, and Kaiser shot 5-under to win medalist. Burnham, Zielinski and Wise were the next three golfers on the leaderboard which led to the dominant team finish.


That doesn’t mean it will be a carbon copy this week.


“I expect it will play a little longer, a little more difficult this time around,” Thornton said. “Early in the spring, we were just getting back into the swing of things at the start of the semester, I expect the course setup to be a little more difficult.”


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