Kania, Skurla Look to Guide Team at BIG EAST Championship
April 26, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The 2013 BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship begins Sunday, April 28 at 8:00 a.m., at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla.
Villanova hopes to use experience to its advantage this year, led by senior co-captains Michael Kania and Steve Skurla. Kania took third at last year's championship and ranks 11th in the conference. Kania and Skurla are two of five seniors ranked in the top-20 of the league individual standings. The seniors helped Villanova finish third in 2012.
Notre Dame took its eighth league title in 2012 with a commanding 16-stroke win. With a team score of 852 (284-286-282) Notre Dame finished 12 under par. The Fighting Irish return two of the five members of the 2012 championship team, including senior Paul McNamara and junior Niall Platt. The senior and junior are averaging rounds of 73.7, and have combined for six top-20 finishes this season. McNamara finished fifth and Platt finished tied for 10th at last year's championship. The Fighting Irish rank third in the league according to Golfstat.
Louisville looks to bounce back after last year's second-place showing, led by freshman Robin Sciot-Siegrist. The three-time BIG EAST Men's Golf Player of the Week has seven top-10 finishes to his credit and leads all BIG EAST golfers with an average round score of 72.79. The freshman earned his first tournament win last week at the Boilermaker Invitational. The Cardinals return one of their top three finishers last year with Max Walz. The sophomore finished tied for 10th at last year's championship and currently ranks fourth individually in the league. Louisville has won two tournaments in 2012-13 and ranks first in the league.
USF enters this year's championship having climbed the rankings significantly since a ninth-place finish at the 2012 BIG EAST championship. The Bulls are the second-best team in the league according to Golfstat, and are averaging a score of 295.92 in 24 rounds this season. USF's top returning scorers are Branden Collins and Bodi Karsono, who both finished tied for 19th at last year's BIG EAST championship. Freshman Chase Koepka and sophomore Trey Valentine have made a quick impact for the Bulls this season. Valentine finished tied for 26th at the 2012 BIG EAST championship, but currently ranks third individually in the league. Freshman teammate Koepka is second. The pair has combined for 10 top-20 finishes in 2012-13.
St. John's ranks third in the conference and looks to improve upon a fourth-place finish in 2012. The Red Storm has not won a BIG EAST championship since 1989 and finished second in 2002. Junior Ryan McCormick leads St. John's with seven top-20 finishes this year, ranking fifth in the league. The junior finished tied for seventh in 2012. The Red Storm returns four of its five competitors from last year's fourth-place team.
2013 Men's Golf Championship Schedule: Reunion Resort, Orlando, Fla.