Men’s golf wins A-10 championship; Ball coach of year

Paris Carter
Contributing Writer

This April, the VCU men’s golf team won the Atlantic 10 Conference championship for the first time in the program’s history.

The tournament became a two-horse race between VCU and University of Richmond after the first round. In the end, the Rams were able to narrowly stave off the Spiders by just one stroke to win the A-10 title. On the final day of play, VCU held a nine-stroke advantage at one point against their cross-town rivals. After Richmond rallied back, a showdown between VCU senior Rocky Khara and Richmond junior Danny Pizetoski at the No. 18 hole would decide the winner. Khara made par, while Pizetoski bogeyed, earning VCU the championship.

Despite leading the field in rounds two and three, Richmond was unable to cap off the late rally with a tournament victory. The difference proved to be the incredibly hot start early on by the Rams, who shot a tournament-low score of 286 on the first day, good enough to lead all teams with the exception of the Richmond Spiders by at least 15 strokes.

A third-round performance by Pizetoski almost led his team to a comeback. Pizetoski shot negative two, four strokes better than the next performer. Still, VCU prevailed relying on a strong and consistent team performance as four of the top seven individual performers were Rams with none finishing in the bottom half of scoring.

The win would earn VCU a postseason berth in the NCAA East Regionals for the first time since 2010.

The team completed their 2013-14 season when they placed 11th out of 13 in the NCAA San Antonio Regionals. It marks only the ninth time VCU made a NCAA Regional appearance. It also ends the collegiate career of Coach Ball’s three seniors: Rocky Khara, Matt Ball Jr. and Adrian Parada. Rising junior Adam Ball, who had a breakout season in 2013-14, is expected to return. John Phillips has been named the first full-time assistant coach in the programs history and is expected to continue the progression of returning players while aiding new recruits.

In a season that saw the Rams win three tournaments and a conference championship, the Rams celebrated with multiple personal accolades to go around. Rocky Khara and the Ball brothers were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference team, and head coach Matt Ball Sr. was voted A-10 Coach of the Year.

VCU Men’s Golf returns this fall.

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