Nash, Taylor Set to Lead Owls to NAIA National Championship
SALEM, OR -- J.D. Nash returns for his fourth consecutive NAIA National Championship tournament as he leads the William Woods University men's golf team to Salem, Oregon, for the 61st Annual NAIA Men's Golf National Championship. The tournament, a four-day, 72-hole affair, will be contested at Creekside Golf Club from May 22-25.
Nash, along with freshman Julian Taylor lead the WWU squad to its third appearance in the national tournament in the past four years. The senior returns following an individual appearance in the 2011 championship and has finished in the top 10 in all but two tournaments on the season. He earned AMC Player of the Week honors on April 9th after he led the Owls to an overall championship at the WWU Spring Invitational, capturing the individual honors as well.
Taylor led the AMC with a stroke average of 73.45 per round on the year, with his adjusted average 21st-best in the nation. The freshman also holds a 2-3 head-to-head record against players ranked in the top 20, including a defeat of top-ranked Aaron Watkins of the Cumberlands and three individual championshops highlighted by a first-place tie and playoff win at the Siena College Homewood Suites Invitational.
Morgan Hough powered to the individual title at the AMC/Unaffiliated Grouping I tournament, finishing the tournament with a three-day total of 215 (70-72-73; -1), with Chris Reinert and Andrew Davis rounding out the five-man squad for the Owls.
Throughout the 2012 season, the Owls have steadily climbed the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Poll, finishing no. 12 in the year's final poll after debuting at no. 16 in the preseason poll. William Woods also finished at the no. 12 spot in the Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches' Poll, climbing five spots from a debut position of no. 17. Looking at the Golfstat.com rankings, WWU ranks 13th, with an adjusted head-to-head record of 151-13 against the NAIA.