Wonder Boys Win GAC Golf Championship

For five consecutive years, the men’s golf team from Arkansas Tech University stood on the grounds of Hot Springs Country Club and watched as the Great American Conference championship trophy was hoisted by Henderson State University.

Nothing, not even that ole Reddie spirit, could deny the Wonder Boys the conference title in 2019.

Arkansas Tech posted a final-round team score of 287 at Hot Springs Country Club’s Arlington Course on Tuesday to overcome a one-stroke 36-hole deficit and dethrone Henderson State.

The Wonder Boys completed the GAC Championships with a 54-hole team total of 863, four shots better than the Reddies.

Henderson State won GAC men’s golf titles in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. On four of those five occasions Arkansas Tech was the runner-up.

The Wonder Boys earned their second GAC men’s golf championship on Tuesday. They also claimed the GAC title in 2013.

It is ATU’s 13th conference championship in men’s golf. Arkansas Tech won Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference men’s golf championships in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1984, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995. The Wonder Boys were Gulf South Conference golf champions in 2004.

The 520-yard, par-5 18th hole was pivotal in Arkansas Tech’s victory. The Wonder Boys played the hole 5-under par on Tuesday, including an eagle by Austin Gean.

Tech’s Andre Jacobs birdied the 18th hole to solidify the individual GAC championship. Jacobs shot even-par 72 during the final round, but there was nothing routine about it. He overcame five bogeys by making five birdies.

Jacobs’ 54-hole total of 5-under par 211 was two strokes clear of the field, which included 50 players from 10 GAC members. He joined Brian Belz (2013) as the only ATU men’s golf team members to win the GAC individual title.

Francois Jacobs (3rd, 72-73-70-215), Kellen Gray (T-7th, 72-75-72-219), Shawn Tsai (T-10th, 75-70-75-220) and Gean (75-77-73-225) also contributed to Arkansas Tech’s 2019 GAC team title.

The Wonder Boys will return to action May 9-11 at the NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Regional. That tournament will also be played at Hot Springs Country Club.

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