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Beavers bound for NAC Golf Championships

FARMINGTON, Maine --The University of Maine at Farmington men's golf team is headed to Vermont this weekend to compete at the North Atlantic Conference Championships at the Country Club of Vermont in Waterbury, Vt.

The NAC Championships will be a 36-hole format with five golfers from each institution competing. The scores of the lowest four individuals on each team, total strokes over the two days, will count toward the team total. The team with the lowest total will be declared the champion. Saturday's opening round is set for an 11:06 a.m. start, while Sunday's final round is tabbed for an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Under the direction of head coach Bob Timmins, the Beavers have placed third at the NAC Championships in each of the past five seasons. UMF looks for its first NAC crown against five-time defending NAC champ Husson University, conference newcomer and 2010 Massachusets Salem State College, host Johnson State College, Castleton State College, Green Mountain College and Maine Maritime Academy.

Timmins knows it's going to take low scores to capture a conference title, similar to what the Beavers have been seeing in their in-state regular season docket.

"Winning scores at a single-round event are below 300," said Timmins. "What this means is that the four counting players are scoring 75 and below for the 18 holes. In past years, 305 to 310 would put you in a winning position. Now, you're looking at fourth or fifth place. This says a lot about the quality of golf and the players who represent their schools. Better players are staying in state and finding quality competition at this level with club and junior programs showing their success."

"We enter the weekend as ready as the season permits with a positive attitude and lessons learned."

Bob Timmins
UMF men's golf coach

UMF is coming off a pair of its best performances of the season with a 629 (308-321) at the Southern Maine Fall Classic at Gorham Country Club and a 309 at the University of New England Invitational at Cape Arundel Golf Club.

"Our season has been one of ups and downs with good golf being played," said Timmins. The problem has been it was not always at the same time. Individuals have played well, but as a team we have not always had the four scores on the same page at the same time. As much as this is an individual game it is a team result. We have gained the consistency in our last two events and played below the 310 mark."

The Beavers' five golfers headed to the NAC Championships, include senior Mike Lawson (Williamsburg TWP, Maine), junior Orion Cochrane (Greenville, Maine), sophomores Cameron Audet (Windham, Maine) and Joe Messerman (Brunswick, Maine) and freshman Jacob Roddy (Belgrade, Maine).

Messerman was the 2010 NAC Rookie of the Year and Cochrane and Messerman were both recognized on the All-NAC Second Team. Timmins said Cochrane "has been the cornerstone" at No. 1 for the Beavers and Messerman has "found his focus and looks for a good outing this weekend."

Roddy fired a 71 at the UNE Invitational to finish as the runner-up, while Lawson is the lone senior for the Beavers and Audet has gained experience throughout the season.

"The season has seen new levels of competition for our schedule," said Timmins. "The bar has been set a little higher or, in golf terms, lower. We enter the weekend as ready as the season permits with a positive attitude and lessons learned."

Mike Lawson Orion Cochrane Cameron Audet Joe Messerman Jacob Roddy