Following a second place finish at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Championships, the Colorado School of Mines Golf team is sending Senior Captain Nick Berry and freshman George Markham to the NCAA Regional Tournament. The regional tournament was hosted by Western New Mexico in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at University Golf Course on May 2-4.
The two golfers will compete to earn a spot at the NCAA National Championship hosted by Metro State at Green Valley Ranch Golf Course May 17-21.
The Orediggers started the postseason with an impressive second place finish at the RMAC Championships at the Golf Club of Estrella in Goodyear, Arizona. The sixth seed Orediggers defied their low seeding and defeated CSU-Pueblo and Colorado Christian to make it to their fourth RMAC final in five years where they came close to defeating a red hot nationally ranked UCCS.
The team was led by a lights out performance from senior Mike McNulty, who shot 5 over par for the tournament and finished tied for 7th overall. Other scorers for Mines included freshman George Markham, junior Taylor Mackay, senior Conrad Smith, and senior Nick Berry who all played consistent and smart golf on the unforgiving course to help Mines achieve an upset finish.
In addition to being selected for the Regional tournament, both Berry and Markham achieved end-of-the-year RMAC honors.
Markham was selected as the RMAC Freshman of the Year after posting a remarkable first season where he held the team’s lowest scoring average (an incredible 73.4) and placed 15th at the RMAC championships.
Berry was selected as Second Team All-RMAC for his second straight year of All-RMAC honors after winning multiple matches at the RMAC Championships and averaging 74.3 a round all season and having the best low round of the season with a 67.
In a recent interview, Head Golf Coach Tyler Kimble said he was happy with the team’s performance at the RMAC Championships.
“The regional tournament will be a great way to go out for senior Nick Berry who has played great for four years for us and a good way to get experience for freshman George Markham,” said Coach Kimble.
Kimble feels the pair has a good chance at Regionals among a solid field of golfers. In order to qualify for Nationals, they will need to place in the top two among individuals not on a nationally qualifying team. Coach Kimble went on to say he believes playing as individual golfers should help both qualifiers.
“The qualifiers will be playing without the pressure or the weight of the whole team,” said Coach Kimble. This will let them play a little more aggressive and free.
The golfers will head down to the tournament several days beforehand to get in a practice round and spend some time on the putting green and driving range to get tuned up for the competition.
The course is a traditional style golf course. Both Berry and Markham have played several rounds on it before and should be well prepared for it.
The Regional tournament will be stacked with RMAC competitors and both Oredigger golfers will face players from Western New Mexico, Regis, UCCS, and CCU, in addition to out of conference competitors Dallas Baptist, Oklahoma Christian, St. Mary’s, St. Edward’s, Midwestern State, and Cameron.
Be sure to follow CSM Athletics on Facebook or csmorediggers.com to keep updated on the Oredigger’s progress as they head to the NCAA Regional Championship and hopefully the NCAA National Championships.
Above: Freshman George Markham follows through on his swing at a recent competition. Markham was selected as RMAC Freshman of the Year. Photo courtesy CSM Athletics.