Preview: Golf looks to win first NEC Championship since 2015


Rachel Root

Jonathan Hanna and Jonathan Hanna

DAYTONA BEACH, FL.– After a long, hard-fought season, the Robert Morris golf team (+330), after a week break, heads to sunny Florida to take part in the Northeast Conference Championships at the LPGA International.

This trip will bookend the team’s spring season with trips to the LPGA International. In their first spring tournament, the Gary Freeman Spring Invitational, also at the course, the Colonials finished third with a +53 tournament.

The NEC Championships will be a three-day, 54-hole event that will take place at the LPGA International. Here, the golfers will use the narrower Hills Course, a 6,984 yard, par-72. The Hills Course was designed by Arthur Hills, who has also worked on the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio that has hosted two PGA Championships; and Hills Golf Club, located near Gothenburg, Sweden. The Hills Golf Club hosted the 2018 Scandinavian Masters.

At last year’s NEC Championships, the Colonials finished second with a score of +37. The winners, Central Connecticut State University finished 12 shots ahead of Robert Morris at +25 on the weekend. Max Palmer finished tied for third overall with a three-over (219).

This year, however, the Blue Devils will not be returning as in early 2018, both the men’s and women’s teams were cut. The last time the Colonials won an NEC Golf Championship was in 2015. Matt Gurska led the team, finishing fifth at six-over par.

This season for Robert Morris, Max Palmer is the story. The junior from Novi, Michigan has six top-10 finishes, and four top-5 finishes on the year. In all five tournaments this spring, Palmer has finished in the top-10.

With an up-and-down first season is Chase Miller. Miller, a freshman from Bernville, Pennsylvania has two top-three finishes this year, including a win at the NKU Fall Collegiate Classic, where he shot -3. However, those top-three finishes are also his only top-30 finishes of the year. If Miller plays at the top of his game, the Colonials will be tough to beat.