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GCU Club Golf Team Earns Bid to NCCGA National Tournament

October 29, 2021

Lopes take 2nd place in Desert Regional 2 Tournament

By: Giovanni Hicks/ Club Sports Writing Staff

“Although we’re excited to make it to nationals again, it’s going to be challenging this year,” said Lopes’ Head Coach John Wasson. “After not contending for a title in so long, it almost feels like we’re entering our first nationals again.”

The Grand Canyon University Club Golf A team placed second in the second National Collegiate Club Golf Association Desert Regional Tournament over the weekend at Forty Niner Golf Course in Tucson, cementing their spot in the NCCGA National Tournament. This will be the Lopes’ first nationals appearance in nearly two years, since both the spring and fall NCCGA National Tournament events were canceled last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lopes’ A team got off to a rocky start on the first day of the Desert Regionals, placing third after Round 1, trailing University of Arizona by one stroke. Tommy Rohde and Giuseppe Aliotti led the way for the Lopes through Round 1, each shooting a 75. Rohde had a hot start on the front nine, sinking four birdies, but struggled on the last leg of the back nine, going +7 on the final three holes.

“The team didn’t get a chance to walk the course before playing, so that made it difficult,” said Wasson. “Although we didn’t play our best in the first round, we picked it up in the second.”

The Lopes beat University of Arizona by five strokes in the second round, climbing to second place on the leaderboard behind University of Nevada, Las Vegas. GCU’s B team golfer Alex Brown recorded the best single-round performance for the Lopes in the second round. After shooting an 80 in Round 1, Brown made the proper adjustments in Round 2, firing a 71 with four birdies. Brown finished with the fifth-best score amongst individual golfers in the tournament, earning him All-Tournament honors alongside teammates Giuseppe Aliotti (T-2nd), Caidin Hill(T-6th), Tommy Rohde(T-8th), and Tyler Smerz (T-8th).

“After not doing well in the first regional tournament, it feels great to come in at 5th overall in this one,” said Brown. “My driver and short game made the difference in getting the lower score this time.”

Here are the tournament results:

Rank Team Round 1 Round 2 Total Score
1 UNLV 381 368 749
2 GCU 387 383 770
3 UofA 386 388 774
4 GCU (B) 393 386 779
5 ASU 397 394 791
6 GCU (C) 404 390 794
7 ASU (B) 415 422 837
8 GCU (D) 435 439 874
9 UofA (B) 446 456 902

The Lopes will compete in the NCCGA National Tournament on November 12-14 at the Palmetto Dunes in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

For more on GCU Club Golf, follow the team’s Instagram here.