Hershey, Pa. (Apr. 29, 2018) – Senior Keith Noonan won Golfer of the Year honors and freshman Joe Polidoro won Rookie of the Year honors Sunday afternoon as Alvernia University finished fourth in the MAC Commonwealth Men’s Golf Championships at Hershey Country Club (East).
Noonan was one off the low round of the day on April 29 with a 9-over 80 under brutal conditions with winds gusting near 20 miles per hour and temperatures hovering a bit above freezing. His two-day total 156 was good for a one shot victory over first round leader Andy Baker from Hood College.
Polidoro backed up his 79 Saturday with an 82 on Sunday and was the low rookie in the field finishing in a three-way tie for eighth place at 161.
Noonan, the first Alvernia men’s golfer to earn low medalist at the conference championship, also picked up First Team All-MAC Commonwealth honors and Polidoro was named to the Second Team.
Noonan, Arcadia senior Kyle Henofer, and Stevenson sophomore Matt Shur were all two strokes behind Baker entering Sunday’s round. Noonan and Baker were paired together in the middle of Sunday’s tee times, Henofer was five groups ahead, and Shur was in the final pairing of the day five groups behind Noonan and Baker.
Henofer was off to a decent start matching the lowest score on the front nine on Sunday with a 3-over 39, but a triple at 13 and another at 17 led to a 44 on the back nine and a two-day total 159 which put him in a tie for third place.
Noonan picked up a shot with a rare par at the par 5 first, but by the turn had dropped to four behind Baker who spun his approach at 9 out of the rough behind the green to two feet for birdie while Noonan failed to get up and down from pin high left.
The Alvernia senior answered with a birdie at the par 4 10th to get back within three then picked up two more when Baker struggled with the par 3 13th making triple bogey. A birdie for Noonan at 14 led to another 2-shot swing with Noonan taking a one-shot lead with four to play.
He went up two shots with a par at 15, and both players alternated one-shot swings on the next two holes leaving Noonan a shot clear on the 18th tee. Noonan found the greenside bunker and had to hack out to the edge of the green while Baker found the putting service with a great recovery shot from better than 200 yards. Noonan chipped up to tap-in range for a bogey and Baker nearly holed the birdie putt that would have forced the playoff.
Shur was still in the picture with four holes to go, but fell back to a tie for fifth place with a pair of bogies and a double on the final four holes.
Polidoro had a rough start to his day finding the water off the first tee. He was able to get to the green with a tricky putt for par to the back shelf hole location, but made a mess of the green carding a quadruple bogey nine.
He bounced back beautifully with a birdie a the par 3 second, and was able to make the turn in 43. He ran off five pars and four bogeys on the back nine to post 82.
Stevenson University won its third straight conference title by six strokes over Lebanon Valley College.