May 1, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. - Villanova shot the best score of any team in the final round at the BIG EAST Championships being played at the par-72, 7,089-yard Watson Course to capture third place for the second consecutive season in the conference's final event of the season. The team was -3 for the day and finished with a 293-292-285--870 (+6) total for the three day event as the Wildcats capped off a good season with a strong effort.
Head Coach James Wilkes said of the great finish, "I'm proud of the way that we stayed patient all week. They didn't worry about things that were out of their control, especially today when we had an under par performance. To have all five guys finish in the top 25 is something special and I'm very proud of them."
Along the way, all five Villanova golfers finished inside the top 23 golfers overall, with four inside the top-20. The team finish is the best of the year for Villanova as they had finished in fifth place twice previously. The Wildcats finished just two shots behind second place Louisville and Notre Dame won the team title with an 852 (-12).
Junior Michael Kania led the way finishing in a tie for third place with a 70-70-72--212 (-4). The junior had two birdies and two pars in the final round to polish off an impressive showing at the BIG EASTs. The finish is Kania's second best of the season as he was the champion of the Pinehurst Invitational played earlier in the spring. Kania led the team in scoring for much of the season and this was his third top-10 finish of the year to go along with three top-20 finishes in what turned out to be a very impressive junior campaign. Kania finished just two shots behind individual champion, Notre Dame's Max Scodro.
Junior Derek Jones was the next finisher for the Wildcats and he came in 13th place out of 60 golfers with a 74-74-70--218 (+2). In his final round, he shot his best with three birdies and just one bogey. The finish for Jones was his best of the season and his first top-20 overall.
Junior Steve Skurla was the third finisher for Villanova and he was in a tie for 15th with a score of 75-74-71--220 (+4) as he steadily improved through the three days. He had four birdies and three bogies in his final 18 holes to wrap up the event. Skurla had the third best scoring average during the season and added his second top-20 to go along three top-10s.
Fourth for Villanova was senior Bret McGaughey in his final event as a Wildcats. McGaughey too saved his best for last to finish in a tie for 17th after firing a 74-75-72--221 (+5). The senior notched his 2nd top-20 of the year and finished on a good note at his final BIG EAST Championship. The senior was consistent throughout with three birdies and three pars, and continued his strong play on par 3s as he was 1-under on the day.
Rounding out the top five for Villanova in his final event as a Wildcat was senior Brian Colbert. Colbert tied for 23rd after firing a 75-74-74--223 (+7) for his team-leading 4th top-20 of the year to go along with two top-10 finishes. Colbert was the second leading scorer for the Wildcats this season after finishing as the leading scorer in the conference as a junior.