LMU’s Braden Galyon named SAC Male Golfer of the Year

gaylonROCK HILL, S.C. — Lincoln Memorial University senior Braden Galyon (Powell, Tenn.) has been christened as the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, the league office announced on Thursday with the unveiling of the 2014-15 SAC Men’s Golf postseason awards. In addition to Galyon’s crowning achievement, senior Rand Wasson (Norris, Tenn.) was named to the All-SAC second team and junior Connor Froning (Knoxville, Tenn.) made an appearance on the honorable mention squad.

Galyon is the third consecutive member of the Lincoln Memorial men’s golf team to be named SAC Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of current and former teammates Wasson (2014) and Jamie Chapman (2013). The Railsplitters have boasted the SAC Player of the Year four times since 2010, when Eric Kennedy became the first player in program history to claim that distinction.

For a program that has seen its fair share of outstanding individual performances, Galyon’s 2014-15 campaign ranks among the very best. The Powell, Tenn. finished with a 71.57 stroke average, ranking fourth in the NCAA Division II in that department while breaking the school’s single-season scoring average. Galyon also ranked fourth in the nation in versus par average with a -0.24 clip, compiling a 711-78 win-loss percentage (.901) for the second-best win-loss percentage in school history.

Galyon shot even par or better in 11 of his 21 competitive rounds, astoundingly finishing inside the top-10 in seven of his 10 events. That figures included two wins and four additional top-five performances.

After falling outside the top-10 in the first three events of his senior season, Galyon never finished outside of it, ripping off five consecutive top-five placements during a span that bridged the fall and spring seasons. Galyon shot rounds of 70 and 71 to tie for fifth in the loaded Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate in early October, and followed that up with the first win of his prolific career in the LMU-hosted State Farm Intercollegiate. In that event, Galyon made a rare double eagle and broke the Woodlake Golf Course record with an opening-round, eight-under par 64, which was the fourth-lowest round shot in the nation this season. He finished 10-under par in the 36-hole event.

Galyon recorded third-place finishes in back-to-back events to open the spring schedule, carding a four-over par total of 220 in the 54-hole Spring Kickoff Intercollegiate and posting rounds of 72 and 69 in the Tusculum Invitational. Galyon tied for eighth in the 82-player Hargett Memorial Invitational field. After taking sole possession of fifth place in the Trevecca Spring Invitational, Galyon completed the regular season with a win at the Tennessee River Rumble with scores of 70 and 73. That event included a hole-in-one on the daunting par-3 17th hole at Tennessee National Golf Club in the opening round.

Galyon’s season has been made all the more incredible based on what he has helped the Railsplitters to accomplish as a team. With Galyon leading the cavalry, Lincoln Memorial broke the single-season record for four-player scoring average with a 293.8 cumulative average, nearly three full strokes better than the 2012-13 team’s record-setting mark (296.0).

Galyon’s place in the lore of the LMU men’s golf program is established. He is a two-time All-SAC first team selection with a career scoring average of 74.24 and win-loss percentage of .755, ranking fourth in program history in both categories. In 87 competitive rounds and 40 events, Galyon has nailed down 15 top-10 outings and 10 top-five performances.

The 2014 SAC Player of the Year, Wasson was once again a consistent presence for the Railsplitters, posting a 73.55 stroke average and a 561-104 win-loss record. The Norris, Tenn. native earned two top-five showings in 10 events, shooting even par or better in nine of his 20 competitive rounds.

Wasson’s best performance came in the Tusculum Fall Classic, where he posted a 70 and a season-low 68 to tie for third place with a four-under par total of 138. Wasson ended the fall portion of the schedule with back-to-back 11th-place runs, shooting a 69 in the second round of the Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate and a 70 in the opening round of the State Farm Intercollegiate. Wasson tied for fifth place and earned All-Tournament distinctions at the season-ending Tennessee River Rumble on the legs of a one-under par 71 in the second round.

In a career that has spanned 65 rounds and 31 events, Wasson has collected 10 top-10 finishes with eight top-five turns and one win. Wasson has compiled a .702 win-loss percentage with a 74.7 career stroke average, ranking seventh in school history in scoring.

2013 SAC Championship individual medalist Froning completed the regular season with a 74.00 stroke average and a 669-218 win-loss record. The Knoxville, Tenn. product was even par or better in seven of his 23 competitive rounds, headlined by a season-low 68 in the opening round of the Saint Leo Invitational. Froning’s most impressive showing came in the Spring Kickoff Intercollegiate, when he shot 77+76+72=225 (+9) to earn sole possession of ninth place.

It marks Froning’s second All-SAC nod as he was an All-SAC second team performer in 2013. Froning is currently the owner of the sixth-best career scoring average in program history with a 74.64 mark. He has seven top-10 finishes and two wins, all of which came during his freshman season.

The Railsplitters tee off in the opening round of the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Championship, set for 54 holes at Firethorn Country Club in Marvin, N.C., on Sunday. Lincoln Memorial will be looking to win its third SAC tournament championship since 2010.

2014-15 South Atlantic Conference Men’s Golf awards

Golfer of the Year
Braden Galyon, Lincoln Memorial

Freshman of the Year
Filip Anderson, Mars Hill

Coach of the Year
Core Iacofano, Wingate

All-SAC First Team
Brad Hawkins, Tusculum
Braden Galyon, Lincoln Memorial
Benedict Gebhardt, Wingate
Charles Hartzog, Mars Hill
Matt Hardman, Catawba (tie)
Tyler Stone, Wingate (tie)

All-SAC Second Team
Will Bundy, Coker
Rand Wasson, Lincoln Memorial
Tommy Hurst, Newberry
Adam Lumley, Mars Hill

All-SAC Honorable Mention
Ryan Wilkinson, Newberry
Connor Froning, Lincoln Memorial
Luis Vega, Brevard
Phillip Konnikov, Wingate
Jake McLauren, Queens

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