LANCASTER, PA -- The Franklin & Marshall College men's golf team will enter the spring season looking to defend its 2003 Centennial Conference Championship and holding the best fall scoring average among the Conference's seven teams.
At last year's championship tournament at Eagles Landing Golf Course in Berlin, Maryland, Nick Leigh (Sr., Innisfil, Ontario) saved his best round of golf to when his team needed it most shooting par to earn medallist honors and lead the Franklin & Marshall College men's golf team to the 2003 title.
The title marked the program's first in the Centennial Conference and the sixth in the last 23 years as the Diplomats won the Middle Atlantic Conference Championship in 1980 and 1984-87.
Holding a three stroke lead over Gettysburg College's Devin Russell entering the final day of play, Leigh dusted the field shooting 72 to outdistance Ursinus' Matt Brown, Muhlenberg's Jesse Neider and Russell who tied for second with final scores of 231, 11 strokes behind Leigh's 220 (74+74+72)
As a team, Franklin & Marshall and Muhlenberg were tied with 36-hole totals of 628 entering the final day. Behind Leigh, the Diplomats combined to shoot 308 to win the CC title with a three round score of 936, 12 strokes better than Muhlenberg.
Overall, the Diplomats are primed to repeat their feat of 2003 as Leigh and Kevin Philipow (Jr., Sudbury, Ontario/Region 18) anchor a strong returning cast of players as the Diplomats shot an average of 317.66 in the fall, .005 strokes better than the 317.71 average of Gettysburg and 5.22 strokes ahead of the pace of Muhlenberg.
The team's best player in the fall, Philipow shot 78.4 to tie for fourth in average among CC golfers in during the fall. Leigh was right behind in sixth place with a 78.6 average, while Bob Hennefer (So., Cherry Hill, NJ/Bishop Eustace) ranked tenth at 80.3.
Franklin & Marshall will open the spring season on March 22 at the York College Invitational hosted at the York Country Club.