Beaver wins River States Conference Championship

Apr. 30—Bryson Beaver took away the drama early. Next stop: Dalton, Ga., to pursue a national championship.

Beaver, a sophomore at WVU Tech, birdied his first three holes and went eagle on No. 5 en route to running away with the individual title at the River States Conference Men's Golf Championship Tuesday on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs.

Beaver had five birdies in his round for the third consecutive day. The first three came right out of the chute, and even with a bogey on No. 4, his eagle on the 526-yard par-5 fifth helped him extend what was a four-shot lead going in to as many as 11 on the day.

His two closest competitors going in, Rodrigo Portilla of Rio Grande and Sam Firebaugh of Indiana East, could not gain ground. Beaver closed the front nine with a double bogey and bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18 but still outdistanced runner-up Portilla by eight shots.

Beaver was later named the conference Golfer of the Year and was Tech's selection to the NAIA Champion of Character team.

Golden Bears head coach Garrett Goosman was named Coach of the Year.

Beaver's day wasn't done after 18 holes.

The Golden Bears finished the final round tied with Rio Grande and had to go to a playoff to determine the champion. All five golfers played No. 1 and the top four scores were used, and the teams were still tied.

On the second hole, the RedStorm was able to surge ahead and claim the conference championship. Rio secured a berth to the NAIA Championship set for May 21-24 in Dalton, Ga., a trip Beaver will also make.

Joining Portilla (6-over) for the RedStorm are Nicolas Gonzalez (seventh, 13-over), Alfonso Baro (tied 11th, 17-over), Juan Carlos (tied 23rd, 21-over) and Whit Byrd (tied 26th, 22-over).

Tech was tied for the team lead after all three rounds.

Lukas Lange, a third-team all-conference selection, was tied for 11th. Philip Rothoff (20-over) was tied for 20th, Robert Akerman (21-over) tied for 23rd and Ignacio Martinez (27-over) tied for 35th.