Ball’s top-5 finish help golf surge

Peter Mason
Contributing Writer

Three-time Atlantic 10 golfer of the week Adam Ball has placed top-5 in individual standings four of five spring tournaments. Photo provided by VCU Athletics.

VCU junior golfer Adam Ball extended his streak of top-25 finishes to four, leading his team to a respectable showing in the Irish Creek Intercollegiate tournament.

A week after finishing eighth out of 15 in the Gary Koch Intercollegiate Invitational, head coach Matt Ball’s team finished a step lower at the Irish Creek tournament, placing ninth in a field of 15. In the team’s final road tournament of the regular season, men’s golf recorded their third ninth place finish for the 2014-15 campaign totaling 872 points. In the first round, the Rams scored 283 points, 295 in the second and 294 in the third.

Ball, a Richmond native, finished tied for fifth in individual competition, tallying 211(69, 71, 71) points over three rounds. Sophomores Jamie Clark (72, 72, 78) and Enej Sarkanj (69, 77, 77)  and freshman Osama Khan (74, 74, 75) each finished with a score of 224 to place in a three-way tie for No. 46. Junior Steffan Harm rounded out the individual scorers, finishing six spots lower, at 52nd overall with 224 total points, registering 73 points in the first round, 80 in the second and 71 in the third.

Played at the Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis, North Carolina, the 54-hole course hosted 15 schools including Atlantic 10 conference foes University of Richmond and Davidson College. VCU was able to place the highest of the A-10 trio, with Davidson and Richmond placing 14th and 15th, respectively.

University of South Florida finished the competition in first place by a narrow margin over University of North Florida. USF held a one-point victory over UNF, 853 to 854 finishing plus one par. VCU finished with a plus 20 to par in their ninth-place finish.

VCU led all schools in par 3 scoring-average with 3.27. Ball finished 1-under on short holes and averaged 2.92 strokes per opportunity. The standout junior finished the tournament with 38 par. Harm was 5-under on par holes with only six golfers finishing higher.

The Rams played one more competition, the Black and Blue Cup. VCU defeated the University of Richmond in match play, 6-2, before wrapping up their season in the A-10 championships held the weekend of April 24-26.

The Rams received 11 first place votes for the 2015 men’s golf A-10 championship preseason poll.

As defending champs, VCU earned a one-stroke victory over Richmond to win the A-10 championship for the first time in school history. Men’s golf has won eight straight conference titles from 1995-2002. Since 2000, Ball has led his team to five conference championships and seven NCAA appearances.

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