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Northeast Mississippi Community College golfer Austin Holt of New Albany has a flare for the dramatic.
After qualifying for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Golf Championships at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course in Scottsboro, Ala., with a 71 on a blustery day at Riverbirch Golf Club in Amory during the NJCAA Region XXIII tournament, Holt turned the trick again at the national event.
Holt fired an even par 72 and vaulted himself into a tie for 57th overall after recording a four-day, 305 at the national competition.
Holt shot a four-over, 76 to stay in prime competition on the opening day but rounds of 80 and 77 dropped the Northeast sophomore in the standings before the New Albany native made his charge on the final day.
Holt’s even par round on the 7,100-yard course moved the Northeast sophomore 20 spots in the standings after finishing the third day tied for 77th overall with a collective 233.
Holt finished in a tie with Andrew Ramsey of Walters State (Tenn.) Community College and Billy Teer of Mott Community College, both shot over par on the final day to fall in the standings. Ramsey recorded a 78 on the final day while Teer shot a four-over 76 during the last round.
Only three linksters from Mississippi finished ahead of Holt during the four-day tournament – all from Region XXIII champion Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College – Jack Sargent recorded a 12-over, 300 for the four-day tournament while Drew Seals and Jared Smith were just one stroke ahead of Holt at 304 (plus-16).
Filip Timmerman of John A. Logan (Ill.) Community College took the individual crown and ran away with the tournament finishing at 280 (8-under) while thenext nearest competitor was seven strokes back at 1-under.
Holt, who was Northeast’s only entrant into the region event, overcame a blustery second day to fire a one-under par, 71 for a two-day 149 to finish tied for second overall with Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Bennett Ruschewski and Keaton Stamps, who finished with second day 76s at the Region XXIII Tournament in Amory.
Ruschewski finished the national tournament at 319 while Stamps wrapped up the four-day event with a 330.
Along with Region XXIII champ Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, the top five golfers that are not associated with the region champion qualified to compete in the national event.
Holt had been one of Northeast’s most consistent golfers all season compiling an 80.25 scoring average for the Tigers. Holt’s 80.25 average ties the Northeast sophomore with Rob Waddell of Kalamazoo Valley CommunityCollege in Michigan in the nation.
During the 2007 and 2008 season, Northeast went undefeated through the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) Division III ranks and captured the Region XXIII crown and appeared in the NJCAA Division III National Golf Championship in Jamestown, NY.