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Cooley Era Comes To Close As Ohio Men's Golf Concludes 2018 MAC Championships

Cooley Era Comes To Close As Ohio Men's Golf Concludes 2018 MAC Championships

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The Ohio men's golf team's 2017-18 season ended with a ninth-place finish at the 2018 Mid-American Conference Championships, which were held at Sycamore Hills Golf Club this weekend. The Bobcats carded a final total team score of 1,276 (+124). Ohio tallied a 309 (+21) in the fourth and final round on Sunday (April 29) after posting round scores of 327 (+39) and 322 (+34) on the opening day of the league tournament on Friday (April 27) and a third-round score of 315 (+27) on Saturday (April 28).

The 2018 MAC Championships also marked the end of an era for the Ohio men's golf program as 30th-year head coach Bob Cooley has retired. Cooley has served as the program's head coach since 1988 and was promoted to Director of Golf in Sept. 2002, assuming administrative and coaching duties for both the men's and women's teams at Ohio. He guided his alma mater to nine top-five finishes at the MAC Championships. The Bobcats finished in the top three on four occasions -- including second-place finishes in 2002 and '04 and third-place finishes in 2012 and '17. Cooley was named MAC Coach of the Year following the 2001-02 campaign. The 12-best three-round team totals in program history have been achieved under his watch, and he has coached six golfers who have accounted for seven of the top-10 best season averages in program history.

"I will certainly miss coaching, getting to know student-athletes and seeing them mature and progress during their college careers," said Cooley when he announced his plans to retire on Dec. 6, 2017. "I have enjoyed every facet of my 30 years of coaching a Division I golf program at Ohio."

Kent State, which trailed tournament host Ball State by 10 strokes heading into Sunday's final round, rallied to win the 2018 MAC Championships with a total team score of 1,196 (+44). The Golden Flashes edged the Cardinals by three strokes to win their 25th conference tournament title and second in a row. Kent State senior Ian Holt captured medalist honors, edging out his teammate, junior Bjarki Petursson by one stroke with a score of 295 (+7). Holt compiled round scores of 74 (+2), 77 (+5), 72 (E) and 72 (E).

Redshirt senior Tom Nettles (McMurray, Pa.) wrapped up his Ohio career by climbing 10 spots up the leaderboard in the final round to finish in a four-way tie for 29th place with a 317 (+29). Nettles' final-round 74 (+2) marked his best of the tournament. He followed up rounds of 84 (+12) and 81 (+9) on Friday with a third-round 78 (+6) on Saturday.

Freshman Zach Crawford (Vandalia, Ohio) improved two spots on the leaderboard on Sunday, carding a final-round 79 (+7) to also finish in a tie for 29th with a 317 (+29). Crawford shot a third-round 75 (+3) -- his best round of the tournament -- on Saturday. He followed up a first-round 84 (+12) with a 79 (+7) in the second on Friday.

Junior Ben Sattler (Liberty Township, Ohio) took 36th with a 320 (+32) after shooting a 79 (+7) in the final round on Sunday. He tallied two rounds of 81 (+9) on Friday, shot recorded a 79 (+7) on Saturday in the third round.

Freshman Austin Dyson (Dublin, Ohio) tied for 41st with a 326 (+38). He carded rounds of 78 (+6) and 81 (+9) on Friday, then shot an 87 (+15) in the third round on Saturday and an 80 (+8) in the final round on Sunday.

Redshirt junior David Yang (Huntersville, N.C.) finished 44th with a 344 (+56). He shot rounds of 87 (+15) and 82 (+10) on Friday, an 83 (+11) in the third round on Saturday and a 92 (+20) in Sunday's final round.

A national search for Cooley's successor is underway. Stayed tuned to OhioBobcats.com for more information.

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