No. 16 Lander headlines Peach Belt Conference postseason honors

No. 16 Lander headlines Peach Belt Conference postseason honors

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The No. 16-ranked Lander men's golf team landed two players on the All-Peach Belt Conference team, while sophomore Conor Richards was named Co-Player of the Year and head coach Chipper Bagwell was named Coach of the Year on the eve of the PBC Championship.

Richards' Co-Player of the Year honor, which he shares with USC Aiken's Axel Östensson, is the Bearcats' second consecutive honor, joining Michal Pospisil's 2017 award. Lander becomes the first program since Georgia College in 2010-11 and just the fourth program in league history to notch back-to-back Player of the Year honors. 

Richards has six top-five finishes on the season, most recently earning fifth-place at the Southeast Invitational. He has a conference leading 71.30 stroke average and has fired six rounds in the 60s while 13 of his 27 rounds have been at or under par.

Richards joins fellow sophomore Jon Parker on the All-PBC team, becoming just the fourth player in program history to be chosen as a two-time All-PBC performer. Richards was named first-team All-PBC, while Parker was a second-team All-PBC selection. 

Parker has two top-10 finishes on the season, including a fifth-place finish at the Bobcat Invitational where he shot a tournament-low 65 in the opening round. His 72.88 stroke average is the second-best mark on the team, firing six of 24 rounds at or under par. 

For Bagwell, the award marks his third conference Coach of the Year award with the men's golf program. In his final season as head coach, Bagwell's Bearcats have a team stroke average of 292.04, the best in program history. 

Bagwell has led Lander to four top-five finishes this season, including a runner-up finish at the UNG Fall Invitational. Three different players in the lineup have at least one top-five finish and Lander has been ranked in the top-25 of every Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll this season, climbing as high as No. 15 in the nation.

Lander will begin play at the PBC Championship at 12:00 p.m. on Friday.