Harmon, Newlin help East Mississippi golf to strong finish in Raymond

RAYMOND – The East Mississippi Community College men’s golf team put together consistent rounds of 309 and 312 to grab third-place team honors at the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges’ second spring tournament held Saturday and Sunday at Eagle Ridge Golf Course.

Coach Dale Peay’s freshman-laden EMCC Lions actually held down the second-place spot following Saturday’s opening-round 309.  Perennial golf powerhouse Meridian Community College shot five strokes better than EMCC on Sunday to take team runner-up honors by two strokes.  However, the six-time reigning NJCAA Region 23 champions of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College ran away from the 10-team field by carding a two-day total of 593 (298-295) for an impressive, 26-stroke advantage over the MCC Eagles.

Jones County Junior College (311-314) and East Central CC (317-308) tied for fourth place in the team standings of the Hinds-hosted tournament with two-round scores of 625.

Individual medalist honors went to MGCCC’s Hayes Weathersby, whose 4-under-par 140 (71-69) was six strokes better than runner-up Sawyer Williams of East Central (73-73—146).

Hunter Harmon, a former Calhoun Academy standout, and Caledonia’s Trent Humber paced East Mississippi with two-day totals of 154 after posting first-round scores of 75 and 76, respectively.  Fellow frosh W.D. Newlin, of Bruce High School, gave the Lions three golfers within the top-19 individual leaders with a 156 total (77-79).

Fellow EMCC rookie teammates Steven Eilders (83-76—159), of Ridgeland, and Arkansas native Chase Chitwood (81-79) both improved their scores from Saturday’s opening round to finish in ties for 27th and 31st place, respectively.  Sophomore John Pittman, from Olive Branch, totaled 164 (79-85) competing as an individual during the two-day event to place 43rd.

The MACJC’s third golf tournament of the 2014 spring campaign, set to be hosted by Meridian CC, is slated for March 3-4 at Northwood Country Club.