Griffith, Armstrong bring home first women’s, men’s A-Sun individual championships in school history

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The Lipscomb University golf program had a historic weekend at the Legends Course at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia, as juniors Samantha Griffith and Dawson Armstrong each won the 2017 Atlantic Sun individual golf championship in their respective tournaments. Their victories are the first time in university history that Lipscomb golfers have won the women’s and men’s Atlantic Sun individual golf championships. The men’s team also took second place in the tournament, falling to Kennesaw State by one stroke.

griffith_250Behind a near perfect setup shot and subsequent birdie on the first playoff hole, Griffith claimed title in a playoff round. Griffith of Lipscomb made a birdie on the 18th green to take home Lipscomb's first women's golf individual title. With Dawson Armstrong winning on the men's side, it marks the fifth time in ASUN Golf history that both medalist winners came from the same school, and first since 2010. Griffith, who held the 54-hole lead coming into the day, carded three birdies on her way to an even-par 73. She held the clubhouse lead by one stroke with an even-par score of 219.

“I am on cloud nine,” said Griffith. “It has not sunk in yet but I’m so happy.  It took a lot of mental strength that I did not know I had to just stay calm. I just took it one shot at a time.”

Griffith entered the day with a one-stroke lead following the first 36 holes of action on Sunday. The Ooltewah, Tennessee native would card a final round even-par, 73 to finish the event with a 219 (77-69-73).  It looked as if she would claim the tournament crown in regulation play but FGCU’s Megan Blonien sank a birdie on 18 to finish the day at two-under.

That led the duo back to the 18th tee where Griffith fired her second shot within 18 inches of the pin for an easy birdie to win the title as Blonien’s birdie try rimmed out.

“It felt good right after I hit it,” said Griffith. “I heard everyone screaming and thought I had made it or something, but I’ll take a tap-in birdie.  That was awesome.”

armstrong_250On the same day, Dawson took the men’s individual title with a 4-stroke win.

“Getting a birdie on the final hole really set the pace for today,” said Armstrong. “My main mindset today was to let them chase me and not me go back to them.  It was a pretty easy-going day for the most part.  I had a few ups and downs but it was mostly me being ahead and just staying there.”

The Brentwood, Tennessee, native and Lipscomb Academy graduate, finished with a -6, 210 (70-69-71) to fend off a challenge from Kennesaw State’s Jake Fendt and North Florida’s Travis Trace.

“We’re going to try and prepare ourselves for these next few weeks and make sure that when regionals come around that we are a little more prepared than we were this week,” said Armstrong. “I’m really excited to go out there with a little chip on our shoulder and with some drive to compete for regionals and nationals.”

In the men’s tournament, the Bisons made a valiant attempt to chase down Kennesaw State, who entered the final day of the tournament, April 16, with a 10-stroke lead, but Lipscomb came up one shot behind the Owls for the league championship. Lipscomb finished with an even-par, 864 (288-290-286) for a second-place finish, the best in school history. Senior Stoney Crouch earned All-Tournament Team honors with a 5th-place finish behind a -1, 215 (73-71-71).

The men’s golf teams also fared well in end-of-the-season A-Sun conference awards.
Armstrong becomes the first Lipscomb golfer and fifth ASUN golfer to repeat as Player of the Year. He is ranked in the top-three individual among ASUN golfers this season by Golfstat and Golfweek. His 71.11 scoring average is the best on the Lipscomb team. He earned two medalist honors this season and was a four time ASUN Player of the Week recipient.

After setting a new standard and lifting the program to a new record ranking in 2016-17, Will Brewer, director of golf programs at Lipscomb, became the first Bison head coach to take home the ASUN Coach of the Year honor in Men's Golf. Lipscomb entered the championship ranked 33rd in Golfstat, and posted nine top-five finishes. The Bisons won three events this season and look to add to that collection at this year's ASUN Championship.   

The ASUN Conference Men's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolade was awarded to Lipscomb's Eric Ansett, Ansett, a junior, is joined by four Bisons on the All-Academic team.

Ansett became the first Bisons men's golfer to earn the prestigious award after an outstanding season on the course and in the classroom. The Spokane, Washington, native holds a 3.71 cumulative GPA in journalism and new media at Lipscomb, while excelling on the course as well. He finished the regular season with a 72.28 scoring average, the fifth-best in the ASUN. He accumulated two top-five and four top-10 finishes this season. It marks his second consecutive selection to the All-Academic team and he was a member of the 2016 ASUN Academic Honor Roll as well. 

The All-Academic Team recognizes student-athletes who excel both on the field and in the classroom and exemplify the ASUN's mission of Building Winners for Life. All the members of the team boast a 3.30 cumulative grade point average or better and participated in at least half of their team's events.