PROSPERITY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's golf program held its end of the year banquet to celebrate the 2009-10 season on Monday night at the Mid-Carolina Club in Prosperity, S.C.
The scarlet and gray are currently in the hunt for a national championship, earning an at-large bid to the 2010 NCAA Division II South/Southeast Regional held at the Wilson Country Club in Wilson, N.C. on May 2-5.
Head coach Brian McCants doled out the honors and awards. Junior Daniel Stanley (Inman, S.C.) was named Newberry's most valuable player. Stanley won his first individual tournament championship during the 2009-10 campaign despite stellar seasons during his freshman and sophomore years. After setting the school record at the Bearcat Classic for a 54-hole low, 207, and winning the tournament, Stanley became the second Newberry College golfer to win the individual Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championship in the last three years a few weeks later. Stanley shot a 216 and helped Newberry to a second place finish.
The top freshman honors went to Chandler Gruenemeier (Jacksonville, Fla.). In his first year at Newberry, Gruenemeier was a force. Named the 2010 SAC Freshman of the Year, Gruenemeier racked up six top-20 placements and was a two-time all-tournament team selection. Gruenemeier's stroke average is currently at 73.1 for the season and Chandler has an overall win/loss record of 563-158.
The Bob James Award, which is given to the golfer that is considered the most improved, was won by senior Sean Collard (Gauteng, South Africa). Collard got off to a brilliant start in 2009-10 with a record-breaking performance at The Honda of Columbia Fall Classic in mid-September. Collard helped host Newberry come away with an early season tournament victory with an 18-hole low of 66 and a second place finish. The stroke total of 66 was a new school record for an 18-hole low before Stanley matched the score at the State-Farm Laker Invitational. Stanley and Collard still hold the record.
The Michael Edwards Award, which is given to the golfer that is considered the most dedicated, was won by sophomore Jon Lussier (Burlington, Vt.). In his first year with the Newberry golf program, Lussier appeared in three tournaments accumulating a stroke average of 75.8. Lussier qualified for the Will Wilson Division II Southeast Preview and finished 22nd out of a field of 87 in mid-October.
The Hunter Mengel Award, which is given to the golfer with the lowest stroke average, was awarded to Daniel Stanley. A first team All-SAC selection in 2009-10, Stanley accumulated a stroke average of 71.4 through 19 rounds on the season. Stanley had six rounds with a sub-70 stroke total.
The Daniel Lee Award, given to the golfer with the most birdies on the season, was won by Chandler Gruenemeier.
Perhaps the most important honorees were seniors Brandon Burnside and Sean Collard. Each were honored by head coach Brian McCants at the Mid-Carolina Club for their contributions to the program both on and off the golf course through the duration of their careers. Burnside leaves Newberry as the career leader in rounds played with 66 and Collard is in the record book several times for low 18-hole and 36-hole scores. Burnside also received the GCAA's All-America Scholar in 2008-09. In a tradition at the end of the year banquet, Collard and Burnside each delivered a farewell speech.
“The farewell speech was the most special part of the night for me,” said head coach Brian McCants, “[The seniors] were given an opportunity by Newberry and both of them took full advantage of it.”
Newberry's season is not done as the scarlet and gray will hit the links at the 2010 NCAA Division II South/Southeast Super Regional on May 2-5.