Troy Mitchell, Director of Athletic Media Relations
HOT SPRINGS – Nick Shapiro took individual medalist honors and led Henderson State to its fourth consecutive Great American Conference Men’s Golf Championship, Tuesday at the Hot Springs Country Club.
The freshman from Plano, Texas becomes the fourth Reddie to win the GAC individual title posting a final round score of 70 for a 209 total, 7-under par on the par 72, 6,713-yard Hot Springs Country Club Arlington Course.
The Reddies had an eight shot lead over Arkansas Tech entering the final round, but the Wonder Boys trimmed the deficit to just two strokes after nine holes Tuesday.
Seniors Drew Greenwood and Price Murphree helped stretch the lead back to four strokes as Greenwood birdied the 10th hole and Murphree birdied the 11th to get things started on the back nine.
Murphree then birdied three of the final five holes with Greenwood finishing with a birdie on the 18th.
However, it was Shapiro that drew a large roar from a large contingent of spectators.
On the 18th, 520-yard par 5, the rookie put his second shot just 12-feet below the flag. Playing in the final group Shapiro drained his putt for eagle to clinch both the individual and team title with his teammates carrying him off the green.
Along with Shapiro, also earning GAC All-Tournament honors were Murphree and Greenwood.
Murphree carded a 71 in the final round and ended with a 214, 2 under par to finish in fourth-place.
Greenwood, who won the GAC title in 2015, tied for fifth having a final score of even-par 216 following a 73 in the final round.
Cameron McRae and Tait Darby also played key roles in Henderson’s fourth championship.
McRae rebounded from a tough opening round, shooting even par on Monday and posting a 75 on Tuesday for a 226 total to finish tied for 22nd.
Darby opened the tournament with a 72 on day one and finished with a 54-hole total of 227 following his final round of 78 to tie for 24th out of 50 competitors.
Henderson posted a final round score of 289 to finish the 54-hole event with a team total of 858, 6-under par.
Arkansas Tech had the best final round of 285, but finished four shots behind Henderson with a 862 total followed by Southwestern Oklahoma in third with an 895 team score.
Harding finished fourth at 897, with Southern Arkansas fifth (900), Southern Nazarene (902) sixth, Arkansas-Monticello seventh (908), Southeastern Oklahoma eighth (918) and Northwestern Oklahoma ninth (963).
The Reddies will next travel to Axtell, Neb. to compete in the NCAA Midwest/Central Regional May 8 through 10 at the Awarii Dune Golf Club. It will be Henderson’s fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA postseason event.