MCKINNEY, Texas – Nicholls State University junior Albert Badosa-Soler became the first Colonel in program history to earn medalist honors at the Southland Conference Championship, but needed to do so in dramatic fashion as he took the title after a six-hole playoff Wednesday at the Stonebridge Ranch Country Club.
It marked the first medalist for Nicholls in the Southland Championship since they joined the league in 1992. The Colonels also finished fourth in the team standings, giving the Red and Grey its highest finish all-time.
Badosa-Soler led the field for most of the day before a triple bogey on 15 brought him into a tie for first. He then had an up-and-down on 18 to finish at 6-over and 225 for the tournament, tying with HBU’s Val Almendarez.
The six playoff holes were played on 18 twice, then 17 and 18, 17 and 18. Badosa-Soler missed puts on playoff holes 1 and 4 for the win, but bounced back with an outstanding 35-foot putt on 5 to keep it going. He then recorded a par on the final hole before Almendarez missed his par putt to end the playoff.
“I’m so proud of Albert and how he was able to sustain himself for that long and grind out a victory. It was another extremely difficult day with the conditions, but just like the previous two, he found a way to fight through it,” said head coach James Schilling. “This was extremely big for our program.”
Not only did the Colonels take the top individual honor, but a total of three golfers finished in the top 10. Sophomore Jack Lee shot a 5-over 77 to place in a tie for fifth at 228, and senior Josh Fullilove was a stroke behind to tie for eighth after putting together his best round at 2-over 74. Baker Stevenson shot an 84 for a 249 and Peyton McCulloch also had his best round at 81 to finish at 253.
“Jack was consistent again for us and ended up earning a top 5 finish. He had some bad luck with a two-stroke penalty late in the round. Without it, he would have finished second,” Coach Schilling said. “I’m proud of how Josh and Peyton put together great rounds to close out their careers. And along with Jack, Baker is just a sophomore so they can continue to improve.”
The Colonels finished with tournament-high three eagles after Lee and McCulloch recorded 3s on the par-5 third. While Badosa-Soler eagled the same hole Monday, it was birdies on 1 and 3 that separated him from the pack early Wednesday. He also birdied the par-5 seventh, tying Lee with three birdies on the day. Fullilove led Nicholls with four birdies.
Nicholls ended the tournament with a three-round total of 928 (309–309–310), finishing 10 strokes behind McNeese for first place, which also shot a 310 in the final round. Stephen F. Austin (922) and Sam Houston (923) each shot a 302 Wednesday to place second and third, respectively, and the Colonels edged Southeastern Louisiana by two strokes for fourth place.
“I can’t say enough about how our team competed this week. The wind was brutal, we had a two-hour weather delay today and it was cold, but they didn’t complain and put together a great effort,” Coach Schilling said. “We were able to hang close with McNeese for most of the day before we had a few hiccups. It will be great having McNeese and Nicholls represent the Southland and Louisiana in the NCAA Championship.”
With the victory, Badosa-Soler earned the league’s automatic bid for the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, with regional rounds taking place May 15-17. The NCAA Selection Show will air live on the Golf Channel on Thursday, May 4 at 11 a.m. CT.
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