The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo men’s golf team expected the highlight of its 2019–20 season to be the hosting and possible win of the PacWest Conference Championships on their own Waikoloa Kings’ Course in late April.
However, with the drastic changes made due to COVID-19, the men’s golf team now celebrates its new season highlight—receiving the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Presidents Special Recognition Honor for the first time in Vulcan history.
UH Hilo, coached by Earl Tamiya, is one of just 15 teams across all of NCAA Division II to earn the GCAA award, and the only team honored in the PacWest and NCAA West Region. The honor goes to schools that have a team grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
“As disappointing as it was to have the season end, this is a great honor for our team,” said Tamiya. “In all of my time here, this is a first for us.”
Additional GCAA honors
Earlier this summer, two Vulcans were named to the GCAA Golf All-American Scholar list, awarded to top players with a combined low stroke average and a high GPA.
Evan Merrier, who was honored as the UH Hilo Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, is a junior who carries a 3.81 GPA in general business. Teammate Taylor Patrick, who will return for “another” senior season due to COVID-19, graduated with a 3.62 GPA in world history. Merrier had a 77.00 18-hole average this season while Patrick checked in at 77.11.