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Anchormen win GNAC championship and NCAA tournament berth



RIC's Ryan Butler captures individual title, named Player and Rookie of the Year.

Rhode Island College won the 2011 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship for the first time in program history with a two-day score of 606 (300, 306) and secured a berth in the 2012 NCAA Div. III Men's Golf Championships, which takes place in the spring. The tournament was played at the par-72 Gorham Country Club in Gorham, Maine.

The Anchormen finished up day one with a six-stroke lead and closed out the competition three strokes better than second place Southern Maine, 609 (306, 303). The 606 score is a record for the GNAC Championships.


From left: USM senior Cody Berkowitz, RIC medalist Ryan Butler, RIC junior Kyle Harper and GNAC commissioner Joe Walsh.
"Winning the GNAC championship has been a great experience for the team, rewarding all the hard work they have put in on their own and this season," RIC head coach Greg Gammell said. "Over two days, everyone’s play was important. When one player had an off day, another played great to pick up the slack. The upperclassmen provided terrific leadership for the two freshmen and they have jelled wonderfully. Our scores were outstanding. GNAC records for both team and individual scoring prove that hard work and dedication is rewarded. Assistant coach Gene St. Pierre and I can’t be more proud of their efforts and obviously our results. We look forward to the national championship in the spring and will continue to work hard to make RIC proud."

RIC freshman Ryan Butler was the GNAC champion and earned All-GNAC honors by capturing the individual title with a score of 142 (68, 74) among a field of 40 competitors.

For his efforts, he was named the GNAC Player and Rookie of the Year. He finished five strokes ahead of Southern Maine freshman A.J. Simokaitis. His two-day total of 142 is a record score for the championships.

RIC freshman Patrick Ford placed seventh with a score of 153 (74, 79). Junior Kyle Harper tied for 10th overall with a score of 156 (80, 76), and junior Kyle Garcia was 13th with a score of 157 (80, 77). Sophomore Tim Leigh tied for 20th with a score of 159 (78, 81).

UMass Dartmouth finished third with a 619 score. Anna Maria College (630), Johnson & Wales University (632), Saint Joseph’s College (632), Emmanuel College (674)and Suffolk University (686) also participated in the conference championship.

In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will compete at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational on Sunday, Oct. 16.