Point Park University Men's Golf -- Season Outlook & Head Coach Interview
March 28, 2013 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Point Park Men's Golf Head Coach Gabe Bubon in a spring preseason interview March 25, 2013.
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University men's golf team opens its spring 2013 season on March 29-30 at the Berea (Ky.) College Spring Tee-Off in Richmond, Ky. The Pioneers have four of five starters back from last year's team that won the American Mideast Conference Tournament championship, but they have to adjust this year to new surroundings as first-year members of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Pioneers and fourth-year head coach Gabe Bubon have a veteran group that was picked third of seven teams in the KIAC Men's Golf Preseason Coaches' Poll (Jan. 28), and they are out to prove that they are KIAC contenders. Point Park will get a sense of where it fits in the KIAC right away this spring at the Berea tournament, where all of the KIAC teams will be in attendance.
Point Park has two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore who was all-conference in its regular lineup. It is virtually the same lineup that won the AMC Tournament in 2012. Coach Bubon hopes that experience will lead to big things for a Pioneers' program that is in just its fourth year since being reinstated in 2009. Before that, Point Park men's golf was on a 37-year hiatus.
It took the Pioneers only three years to win a conference title, and they hope they can make it a repeat to break through to the NAIA national tournament for the first time since 1969 when they finished fourth in the nation.
Coach Bubon discussed the season outlook in the preseason coaches' interview posted at the clip above. Watch the interview to hear the goals of this year's veteran team and a rundown of the Pioneers' top players.
Download the Season Stats (PDF) at the link above for results of each event as well as Team & Individual Statistics.
Point Park is coming of a Fall 2012 in which it competed in four tournaments highlighted by a victory at Allegheny and a second-place showing at Washington & Jefferson. The two other events were both NCAA Division II tournaments, and the Pioneers finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively, in tough fields at California (Pa.) and Mercyhurst.
Senior Austin Elder (Warren, Ohio/Howland HS) is the top player for the Pioneers with a scoring average of 76.60 in the fall. He has played in nearly every event over his four years and is in his third year as the No. 1 player. Elder's career scoring average of 75.94 leads the team by nearly two strokes.
Junior Chris Bowen (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park HS) played the best golf of his career in the fall with a career-best scoring average of 76.89 so far in 2012-13. He was not in the lineup for the AMC championship, but he has dropped three strokes off his career scoring average to help make up for the loss of all-conference player Alejandro Bernardini, who graduated after last year.
Junior James Daley (Youngowntown, Ohio/Ursuline HS) has been steady his whole career and enters the spring with an average of 77.40 this year. Only Elder has played in more events and more holes than Daley among active players.
Sophomore Collin Holmes (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake HS) earned all-conference honors in a very strong freshman season of 2011-12, and he made a few key birdies down the stretch to clinch Point Park's conference title a year ago. Holmes is the biggest hitter on the team and is scoring at 77.00 this year.
Senior Billy Wivell (Deer Lakes, Pa./Deer Lakes HS) is in his second year with the Pioneers after transferring from CCAC-South. He has been in the top five for just about his entire time with a 77.56 average in the fall.
Junior Steve Veydt (Cecil, Pa./Canon-McMillan HS) is another player who transferred in last year from Spring Arbor (Mich.). He turned in a scoring average of 77.50 in the fall and leads a group of players who are capable of breaking into the top five spots.
Also in the mix for playing time are senior Shane Killeen (81.00), sophomore Michael Popovec (81.00), freshman Alex Reynolds (80.50), sophomore Brandon Moon and senior Jerry Ferrell. Killeen, Popovec and Reynolds all played in one event in the fall.
Point Park received 39 points in the KIAC Preseason Poll, which was just behind preseason favorite Brescia (44) and Asbury (40). Brescia got three first-place votes, and Point Park got two. IU East came in fourth in the poll with 30 points followed by Cincinnati Christian (20), Berea (14) and Alice Lloyd (8).
The focus of the spring season is the KIAC Tournament April 29-30 at Gibson Bay Golf Course in Richmond, Ky. The winner of the KIAC will get the conference's automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament.