MERIDIAN – The East Mississippi Community College men's golf team moved up two spots Tuesday to finish in fourth place at the MACJC's spring-opening tournament held at Northwood Country Club.
Coach Benji Williams' EMCC Lions improved 22 strokes over Monday's opening-round score with a final-round 297 to complete the tournament with a two-day total of 616 – one shot ahead of East Central (318-299—617) and three strokes better than nationally ranked Copiah-Lincoln (309-310—619).
The host Meridian Eagles (298-286—584), ranked sixth nationally in the latest Bushnell Golfweek NJCAA Division II Coaches Poll, claimed team tournament honors with an 11-stroke victory over second-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast (304-291—595). Northwest Mississippi finished third at 613 (309-304).
Individually for East Mississippi, freshman Joey Partin (77-68—145) earned all-tournament team honors with a fourth-place finish after carding a 3-under-par 68 during Tuesday's final round to climb nine notches. Meridian Community College's Isaiah Jackson (73-67—140) captured the individual title after firing a final-round 67 to finish three shots ahead of runner-up Colin Troxler (72-71—143) of Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Also finishing among the Top 10 for EMCC was freshman Conner Stevens, who finished in a four-way tie for ninth place overall with a pair of 75s.
EMCC sophomores Kent Vaughn (84-76—160) and Michael McGill (83-78—161) tied for 28th and 31st, respectively. Caledonia's Eli Hemphill (86-82—168) rounded out the Lions' scorecard in 46th place, while fellow freshman Cameron Guinn (87-79—166) tied for 42nd place competing as an individual.
The EMCC Lions are scheduled to be back on the links, April 1-2, when they host the MACJC's next spring golf event at Lion Hills in Columbus.