May 8, 2012

Vaita Guillaume earns individual bid to NCAA Greensboro Regional

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – For the second-straight year, Campbell University senior Vaita Guillaume has earned an individual bid to the NCAA men's golf regional championship.

The Big South Conference player of the year, Guillaume was one of five individuals and 14 teams selected to play in the event May 17-19 at the Grandover Resort East Course in Greensboro.  The top five teams and low individual not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championship, May 29-June 3 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

A native of Papeete, Tahiti, Guillaume will be the first player in Campbell men's golf history to participate in three NCAA regional championships.  He advanced to the 2009 regional round in his freshman season after the Camels won the Atlantic Sun Conference team title.  Last year, he received an individual berth along with teammate Matt Moot to the Virginia Tech regional.

Only Guillaume, Moot (2009, 2011) and Georges Plumet (1998, 1999) have participated in multiple NCAA regional championships in the school's men's golf Division I era (since '77-78).

Entering the regional, Guillaume leads the nation in par-4 scoring (3.97), according to Golfstat.com.  He ranks 8th in the country in average score (70.69), which is tops among Big South Conference players.  Guillaume stands 9th in subpar strokes per round (4.21), 11th in score vs. par (-0.76), tied for 14th in lowest round (64),and tied for 36th with 116 birdies.  He is ranked 43rd nationally in the Golfstat Cup.

Guillaume's player of the year honor marked the eighth time that a Camel golfer has earned top conference individual recognition during the progmra's Division I era.  Gary Hobgood (1987), Dirk Fennie (1989), Brad Wilson (1992) and Troy Ferris (1993) were named Big South player of the year, while Georges Plumet (1998, 1999) and Simon Dunn (2002) took the top award during the program's tenure in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

A first-team All-Big South Conference selection, Guillaume was named to the A-Sun all-conference second unit in each of his first three collegiate seasons.  He was the first Camel golfer to receive all-league recognition four times since Braxton Wynns accomplished the feat from 2001-04).  Duane Bock (1988-91) was the only CU golfer to be named all-league four times in the program's first Big South era (1985-94).

The Big South stroke average leader (70.69), Guillaume won four individual titles this year, the most in a season by a Campbell golfer during its Division I history.  He added the Wofford Coca-Cola Invitational crown to three other events he has already won during the 2011-12 season – the Georgetown Intercollegiate, Kiawah Classic and Bash at the Beach.  His victory at Wofford was his 4th in a 6-outing span.

He finished 12-under-par (69-64-71--204) at the Coca-Cola Invitational to set tournament records for score vs. par and 54-hole total.  In the second round, Guillaume tied the school and tournament 18-hole record with an 8-under 64 on the par-72, 6648-yard Country Club of Spartanburg layout. Guillaume matched the school 18-hole record of 64 first set by Simon Dunn at the 2001 UCF Rio Pinar Invitational. Guillaume also shot 64 at the 2010 Mardi Gras Invitational and 2011 Charleston Shootout.

Guillaume notched his career-best 36-hole performance (133), a mark that stands 2nd in school history and only two strokes off the Campbell record of 131 set by Kyle Spahr at the 2006 Hartford Hawks Invitational. Guillaume's 204 tally for 54 holes is also a career-best and the fourth-lowest in Campbell's men's golf Division I era (since 1977-78).

His win also marked the 18th time he has finished among the top-10 individuals in a collegiate tournament.

Campbell placed among the top 5 schools in each of its 10 tournaments this year with three team titles (Golfweek Program Challenge, Kiawah Classic and Bash at the Beach).

Big South champion Liberty captured the league's automatic berth and is the sixth-seeded team at the Greensboro regional.  Four other Big South players – Charleston Southern's Jacobo Pastor and David Denlinger, plus Sebastian Soderberg of Coastal Carolina and Kamito Hirai of Winthrop – earned individual berths to the NCAA Regional at Athens, Ga.