BROCKTON, Mass. -- Babson College senior captain Joe Young (Westwood, Mass.) outdueled junior teammate Wesley Tryhane (Stamford, Conn.) in a two-hole playoff to earn Golfer of the Year honors as the duo helped the Beavers claim the 2011 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Men's Golf Championship at D.W. Field Golf Course on Sunday. With their second NECC title in three years, the Beavers also secure the league's first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Babson's two-day team score of 592 was 16 strokes ahead of runner-up Elms College, which finished second with a score of 608. Springfield College followed in third place at 619.
The tournament leader after carding an opening round 69 on Saturday, Young fired a 75 in the second round to finish atop the leaderboard with a two-day total of 144. Tryhane then tied his teammate by following up his opening-round 71 with a 73 on Sunday, forcing the two to go to extra holes to determine medalist and NECC Golfer of the Year honors. Each player shot par on the first playoff hole before Young secured his second straight conference Golfer of the Year award by birdying the second.
Elms sophomore Henry Fall (Harpswell, Maine) carded the low round of the day on Sunday, shooting 70 to finish in third place with a combined score of 146. Elms first-year Nicholas Smith (Enfield, Conn.) and Springfield junior Kyle DiFranco (East Longmeadow, Mass.) followed in a tie for fourth with two-day totals of 150, as they joined Young, Tryhane, and Fall on the NECC All-Conference First Team. In addition, Smith was named NECC Rookie of the Year after finishing first among the league's freshmen competitors.
Rounding out the top ten and comprising the All-Conference Second Team were Babson sophomore Will Weimar (Nesconset, N.Y.), who finished sixth with a two-round total of 151, Babson sophomore Kenny Chong (North Bergen, N.J.) and Springfield junior Ryne McEvoy (Accord, N.Y.), who tied for seventh with a 154, and Elms junior Philip Rurak (Wilbraham, Mass.), Becker first-year John Lento (Estero, Fla.), and Daniel Webster senior Michael Fuller (Chelmsford, Mass.), who finished in a three-way tie for ninth with a 155.
The NECC also announced two other major awards following Sunday's final round, both of which went to Newbury College. The Nighthawks received the league's Sportsmanship Award, while Newbury coach Garrett Quinn was named NECC Coach of the Year.
This marked the first time in the NECC's four-year history of sponsoring a men's golf championship that the event winner was awarded an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The trip will be Babson's eighth to the national tourney, which will take place at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida on May 15-18, 2012.