Sports Information Director
(Crete, Ill.) The Holy Cross Saints wrapped up the 2013 spring season with a second place finish at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Championship after shooting a team score of 606 through the two day event at Balmoral Woods Country Club. The Saints finished just two strokes behind the Conference Champions from the University St. Francis (Ill.). Junior Michael Fitzgerald (Flossmoor, Ill.) shot a tournament best 145 (74, 71) en route to his first place finish at the tournament and secured an automatic berth to the National Tournament at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore.
"We're disappointed in finishing second in this year's championship," coach Holt stated. "We had our share of struggles on the last two holes both days and it hurt us. I'm very happy for Michael Fitzgerald; he played very steady both days and deserved the title. He'll do great at the NAIA Nationals in Oregon."
After a round one score of 301, the Saints headed to the final round of the Conference Championship tied in second with Saint Xavier University (Ill.) and just three strokes behind the University of St. Francis (Ill.).
All five Saints golfers scored in 70's while senior Mike Prior (Schoolcraft, Mich.) led the way during day one with a team-low round of 73. Michael Fitzgerald chipped in with a 74 while freshman Cody Richardson (Howe, Ind.) scored a 75. Matthew Code (Belleville, Ontario, Canada) and Chris Noble (Niles, Mich.) rounded out day one for the Saints with a pair of 79's. All five golfers were in the top fifteen through the first day.
With just eighteen holes remaining to decide the Conference Champion and automatic qualifier to the National Tournament in Salem, Ore., the Saints looked to make up ground on the Fighting Saints of St. Francis.
Michael Fitzgerald produced a tournament low final round score 71 to lead the Saints, who finished with a round two team score of 305. Fitzgerald finished the tournament with a two day score of 145 and a first place individual finish.
Matthew Code improved his round one score by seven strokes with a 72. Code finished with a tournament total of 152 and a tie for fifth place individually.
Mike Prior and Cody Richardson finished round two with a pair of 81s. Prior finished with a tournament total of 154 and a tie for eleventh place individually. Richardson's 81 gave him a two day total of 156 and a 13th place individual finish.
Rounding out the Saints second place finish, Chris Noble shot a round two score of 83 to give him a two day total of 162 and tie for twenty fourth individually.
All five Saints finished in the top twenty four of a fourty-nine man field.
Both Michael Fitzgerald and Matthew Code were named to the All-Conference team at the conclusion of the tournament and Fitzgerald was also named Conference Player of the Year. Fitzgerald is the second Saint to win the Player of the Year award.
"Despite not advancing to Nationals as a team, I thought our guys did a great job this year," continued Holt. "This has been a great team to coach. With our guys who are returning, we will have all summer to work on our games and make improvements for next season. We're looking forward to start a new streak of competing for the National Title next season."
With the CCAC Championship in the books, the Saints close out the 2012-2013 season with six top two finishes including one tournament championship at the Indiana Wesleyan Invitational.
On behalf of Holy Cross College Athletics, we'd like to congratulate coach Holt and the men's golf team for another successful season! Stay tuned for updates on Michael Fitzgerald updates during the National Tournament this May.