The No. 5-ranked Emory golf team successfully defended their UAA title at the par 72 Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Fla., March 11 and 12.
Match play was best three games out of five. With Emory tied 2-2 with Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.), Emory sophomore Connor Yakubov went into extra holes in the final match to determine which team would prove victorious. Delivering a par in the final hole, Yakubov secured a 3-2 win over Carnegie Mellon and another UAA title for the Eagles.
Yakubov’s finale took center stage, but it required a team effort for the Eagles to capture the title 3-2 over the Tartans.
Freshman Matt Organisak, who also won his match, joined Yakubov on the Championship’s All-Tournament team.
This is the second consecutive title for the Eagles. Junior Keenan Hickton said that unlike in past years, the team entered the conference championship as the favorite to win the tournament.
“We used to always come from behind and were never expected to win,” Hickton said. “It was exciting to deal with some pressure … and still win the tournament and play well.”
Head Coach Josh Sjoberg noted the hard work that his players put into the game.
“Depth has pushed these guys,” Sjoberg said. “Our play is as competitive as it has ever been. We have really good players and in order to get into that top five position we have to be ready to play every day.”
Next weekend’s competition, Hickton said, will be a “test of patience.”
The tournament will provide Emory with some tough competition, as 16 of the top 25 D-III teams will be in attendance, according to Sjoberg.
“[Our next tournament] will be one of the biggest tournaments of the year,” Hickton said. “It will be a big challenge because a lot of the tournaments we play are two days, this will be a three-day tournament and nationals will be a four-day.”
On March 17, the Eagles entered the Oglethorpe Spring Invitational in Jekyll Island, Fla. They finished the tournament March 19 ranked No. 5 out of 29 teams.