Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Sunday, April 29, 2012 1:58 p.m.

Men’s golf team wins first-ever Atlantic 10 championship

Andres Pumariega

Senior Andres Pumariega came in second individually in the A-10 championship this weekend. Hatchet File Photo

The Colonials are the A-10 men’s golf champions, claiming the title after posting a two-round, 36-hole score of 8-under par 568 at the par-72 Heron Bay Golf Club. The victory ensures the men’s golf team a regional bid to the NCAA tournament.

GW took the lead in the first round of play Friday, holding onto the first slot through the competition’s second round Saturday. Sunday’s round of play was canceled after overnight rain caused unplayable conditions on the greens, and the sixth-seeded Colonials claimed the championship.

It was the best finish for GW since finishing second in 2005, and the team set a new 36-hole team record. The Colonials upset six-time defending champion Charlotte en route to their title.

“I cannot explain how happy I am for my team,” head coach Terry Shaffer said in a release. “These guys worked so hard and they deserve this title. This is a huge step in the right direction for both GW golf and the Colonials athletics department. I am elated.”

Senior Andres Pumariega was named to the all-conference team at the conclusion of play, while Shaffer was given the 2012 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year award.

Pumariega finished second overall, carding a two-round 5-under 139 to finish just a stroke behind individual champion individual champion Raoul Menard of Charlotte. Senior Martin Liu finished 10th with a two-round score of 1-under 143, while senior Brandon Rukin and freshman Jack Persons tied for 11th with two-day scores of even-par 144.

“It feels incredible to win this my senior year,” Pumariega said in a release. “Everyone really stepped up this weekend. It was a complete team effort.”

The championship is GW’s first since nabbing Southern Conference crowns three straight years from 1957-59. Seeding for the NCAA regionals will begin at the completion of all NCAA Division I tournaments.