Oak Forest, Ill. – Trailing the day one leader, Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.), by two strokes heading into Tuesday's final round of play, the Saint Xavier University men's golf team overcame the deficit and won by seven strokes to claim the 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Championship and an automatic bid to the 2014 NAIA National Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. The CCAC Championship was held at George Dunne National Golf Course in Oak Forest, Ill., Monday and Tuesday. The SXU men's golf program is in just its second season of competition and beat out 11 other conference schools to claim the crown.
Saint Xavier won the conference tournament with a two-day team score of 618 (310, 308). Junior Kyle Bahnick
(Inverness, Ill./Carthage College/Palatine-Fremd) tied for the individual lead with a combined score of 151 (76, 75), while senior James Kerr
(Donegal, Ireland/Western Texas/Archbishop Ilsley) was the next Cougar finisher in a tie for third place overall with a 153 (79, 74). Senior Kirby Brown
(West Des Moines, Iowa/Kirkwood CC/Valley) shot a two-day total of 157 (78, 79) for seventh place (tie) and senior Brendan Ryan
(Alsip, Ill./Moraine Valley CC/Shepard) was right behind him turning in a 158 (78, 80) for ninth place (tie). Freshman Robert Lively
(LaGrange, Ill./Nazareth Academy) also finished in a tie for 20th place with a 162 (78, 84) for Saint Xavier. There were a total of 58 golfers competing in the CCAC Championship.
"Our goal from the beginning of starting our program two years ago was to win our conference to make it to the National Championship with the team that started it all with," said SXU golf coach Mike Mandakas
. "I'm very proud of all eight players on our team as we have had a great year. This comeback victory will give us some momentum going into the National Championship."
Saint Xavier now prepares for the 63rd Annual NAIA Men's Golf National Championships held from May 13-16 at LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. The event is being hosted by The Sun Conference in conjunction with the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.