April 17, 2000
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland travels to Badin Lake, N.C., this weekend to take part in the 47th Atlantic Coast Conference men's golf championships. Hosted at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point, the ACC Championships highlights a Terrapin schedule that includes just the Wofford Invitational prior to NCAA Regional selections
Maryland enters the annual conference tournament after a break from play last week, and its finest performance two weeks ago, at the Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, S.C.
Maryland, after completing five tournaments this spring, enters the ACC Championships with a 73.62 stroke average -- led by seniors Keith Unikel (Potomac, Md.) and Gary Mankulish (Laurel, Md.), and sophomore Corey Brigham (Rumson, N.J.). Unikel's 72.50 average is slightly behind his 72.08 which helped him earn All-ACC accolades in 1999. Mankulish's 72.85 average is improved from a 73.75 clip of a year ago and has put him in contention for potential All-ACC honors with Unikel this weekend. Brigham, a Terp newcomer, rounds out Maryland's top trio with a 74.00 average.
History In The Making At ACC Championships?
Hoping to ride the experienced play of seniors Unikel and Mankulish, the Maryland men's golf team takes part in this week's ACC Championships, hoping to better a sixth-place finish in 1999 which was the Terps' best finish since ending fifth in 1996.
But for Tom Hanna's senior duo, history could be made at Uwharrie Point. Last year, Unikel was Maryland's first all-conference selection since 1994, and just the fourth ever from the Terrapin program. Should Unikel post All-ACC honors again next week, he will become the first two-time All-ACC recipient in Maryland history. Further, if Mankulish should join him on an All-ACC pedestal, it would mark the first time since Mike Pratt and Roger Simpkins in 1976 that the Terps have ever placed two members on the All-ACC men's golf squad.
Terps Third At Furman
Paced by Keith Unikel's seven-under par 209 (73-68-68), Maryland moved from ninth-place to third after two rounds of play, and held on to trail Virginia and East Tennessee State in the final results. Unikel fired back-to-back rounds of 68 and recorded the best score of his college career to capture medalist honors in a single-hole playoff at the Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, S.C., on April 8-9. Unikel, an All-ACC performer in 1999 who leads the 2000 Terrapins alongside fellow senior Gary Mankulish, posted the first tournament title of his career by overcoming a three-stroke deficit entering the final round of competition.
Second after 36 holes behind Virginia's James Driscoll, Unikel shot 68 in his final round to pull even with Driscoll after 54 holes. He beat Driscoll in a playoff to capture Maryland's first individual title since Miguel Rivera won the same tournament, in another playoff, last season.
Unikel mastered the course with the first pair of 68s in his college career, and sophomore Corey Brigham finished 11th (221, +5).
Freshman Dan MacDonald (Plandome, N.Y.) shot 227 (+11) in his first college springtime competition to place 39th, one stroke ahead of senior Gary Mankulish who shot +12 and finished 43rd. Freshman Vertti Iso-Ahola (Upper Marlboro, Md.) finished at +18 in his second college tournament.