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BERLIN, Md. (October 17, 2018) – Freshman Diego Gonzalez became the first North Carolina A&T men’s golfer in the program’s two-year history to win a golf tournament as he captured the Maryland Eastern Shore Collegiate Golf Challenge crown on Wednesday played the par-72, 6,694-yard Ocean City Golf & Yacht Club golf course.

Gonzalez went into the record book the way an athlete is supposed to enter, with style and flair. He eagled three holes on Wednesday on his way to shooting a 3-under 69 on Tuesday. Gonzalez was 6-under for the tournament to beat Alabama State’s Thacher Neal by an impressive nine strokes.

According to Gonzalez’s coach, Richard Watkins, Gonzalez can have such a good career at N.C. A&T, that these types of performances should be expected even though it is his rookie season. “Diego was good throughout the tournament and he performed the way we expected,” said Watkins.

N.C. A&T missed out on winning the program’s first collegiate tournament in history by finishing second behind Alabama State. The Hornets shot a three-round 24-over 888 to win the challenge, nine strokes ahead of the Aggies 33-over 897. Hampton finished third in the six-team event with a 41-over 905.

“It was a good tournament for a team that has made big steps in the right direction,” said Watkins. “We have more work to do, but these young men are willing and ready for the challenge.”

The second-place finish is the highest the Aggie men have ever secured in its short history. Gonzalez played a major role by being fantastic on par-5’s throughout the tournament. He eagled all three par-5’s on Tuesday and shot 5-under on par-5’s over Tuesday and Wednesday to propel him to victory. He was not without a few flaws on Wednesday. He bogeyed three holes and did not have a birdie in the last round. But in five rounds played this season, Gonzalez has been terrific. His highest score this season is 76.

Sophomore Stefan Holczer had the second-lowest score among Aggies by finishing the tournament 9-over 225. He was 6-over for the day to drop from fourth place after the first day to a tie for seventh to end the tournament. Holczer had two birdies on the final 18 holes of the tournament. Sophomore Cody Lisner also finished in the top-10 for the tournament.

Lisner was in eighth place after the first two rounds. He stayed in the top-10 by shooting 4-over on the day. He was 11-over for the tournament to finish 10th overall. Freshman Xavier Williams finished 15th and sophomore Casey Lindo finished 17th.

N.C. A&T will be back on the course in a few days. They head to Gulf Shores, Ala., to play in the Black College Association Golf Tournament, Oct. 21-22.