SOUTHPORT, N.C. -- The University of Delaware men’s golf team will look to continue its recent success at the conference tournament as the Blue Hens will compete in the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Championships this weekend at St. James Plantation.
The 54-hole tournament will feature a single round on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m. the first two days while Sunday’s round will start at 8 a.m. The seven-team championship includes the Blue Hens, UNCW, William & Mary, James Madison, Towson, Drexel and Hofstra, with the team winner and the individual champion earning an NCAA bid.
Last year Delaware placed sixth out of 11 teams at the CAA Championships, tying for its second highest finish since joining the conference. Additionally the Blue Hens have featured two of the last three individual champions, as Justin Martinson captured the 2010 title and Greg Matthias took the 2012 crown at nearby Wilmington Country Club.
Delaware has finished among the top five in five tournaments this season, including a season-best second at the Rhody Invitational on April 6-7. The Blue Hens are seeded fourth in the conference championship, behind UNCW, William & Mary, and James Madison.
The Blue Hens are paced by freshman Braden Shattuck, who has been Delaware’s top finisher in three of the last four invitationals. Shattuck, who leads the squad with a 74.15 average round and earned medalist honors at the Villanova Wildcat Invitational on April 1-2, has posted a team-best six top 10 finishes on the season, including four straight.
Senior captain Ben Conroy, who ranks second on the team with a 75.81 stroke average, could also make a run at the title as he has recorded four top 20 performances on the year. Junior Dan Costenbader will be in the third spot for the Blue Hens, as he and Conroy are both coming off one of their better performances of the season last weekend at the Navy Spring Invitational. Costenbader’s 78.17 average during the five spring tournaments ranks second on UD behind only Shattuck.
Sophomore Niño Rosal will be Delaware’s fourth golfer at the championship as he is one of three Blue Hens to compete in all 10 tournaments so far this season, averaging 77.31 shots per round. Rosal had his best showing of the year at the Rhody Invitational, when he tied for fourth place in the individual standings.
Freshman Kyle Martin, who along with Shattuck are the only two Blue Hens to post multiple rounds in the 60s this year, will round out the UD squad at the tournament. Martin has appeared in all but one invitational during his rookie campaign, ranking third on the team with a 77.17 average round.
“This group is definitely overdue to have that weekend we they all play well together at the same time,” said 12th-year Blue Hen head coach Mike Keogh. “If they come close to their potential this weekend, we could be on a big plane going somewhere in mid-May.”