Point men’s golf team near the top of NAIA national rankings

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2019

LANETT — The progress of the No. 5 Point men’s golf program has been on an incline for the last six years. In 2017, the Skyhawks won the AAC championship and made the program’s first trip to the national tournament.

“It was out in Silvis, Illinois at the TPC Deere Run course,” Point men’s head golf coach Steven Paine said. “They play a PGA event out there, the John Deere Classic. It was a really cool experience for the guys. In  the first year, the team  was just happy to be there.”

The Skyhawks returned to the national tournament last season and even made the cut by finishing 15th.

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This year, Point looks to battle for a national championship.

The team added assistant coach Shannon Lipham, who previously worked at Callaway Gardens for seven years.

Senior Joao “John” Magalhaes, sophomore Ruan Pretorius and sophomore Eric Wowor are all ranked in the top 50 this season as the Skyhawks’ top trio. Magalhaes won three individual competitions this year, while Pretorius and Wowor won one each, respectively.

“We’re one of the schools in the country that have three guys who have actually won tournaments,” Lipham said. “We’re very fortunate to have that.”

Lipham was out of the coaching realm for a decade, and getting the opportunity to be around the game he loves again is one that he said he doesn’t take for granted. Paine and Lipham agreed that the manner the student-athletes carry themselves in is just as impressive as their play has been on the course this season.

Paine also said that the team’s success this season has prospects emailing him from around the world.

“I live in Columbus, and five years ago when I wore my Point apparel, everyone would ask ‘what’s that?’ A lot of people now say, ‘oh, Point University,’” Paine said. “Our tennis team is doing really well this season, our baseball team’s doing well.  We’ve had a lot of programs around Point doing well throughout this year. Volleyball and soccer had a good fall. As that continues to grow, the word spreads out. It’s been really neat to see things grow, and see how  we can make them better.”

The Skyhawks have won four tournaments this year, and will return to the course on April 8 for the conference spring invitational in Chattanooga, Tennessee.