Thursday, April 18, 2002Johnson City, Tenn. (Apr. 18, 2002) -- The East Tennessee State men's golfers begin play in the 2002 Southern Conference Championships Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. from the Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C. The four-time defending Southern Conference champion Buccaneers have been dominant in the tournament over the last decade and a half, winning the title 11 times out of the last 13 seasons. ETSU has won the SoCon Championship 16 times overall since joining the league in 1979. The Bucs have had 11 individual medalists in the tournament, including Chris Wisler in 1999 and Pat Beste in 2000. East Tennessee State has finished in the top-10 in four tournaments this season, including the first tournament of the year, the Bank of Tennessee/The Ridges Intercollegiate, where they finished in a tie for seventh. ETSU's best finish of the season was a second place finish in the first event of the spring season, the Charleston Southern Spring Kickoff Classic on Feb. 18-19 from Charleston, S.C. Juniors James Johnson (Barbados) and Adam Riddering (Maple Grove, Minn.) have led the Buccaneers this season. Johnson leads the club with a 73.6 stroke average while Riddering is second with a 74.7 average. Johnson has been a very consistent performer this season, finishing in the top-15 three times. Riddering has one top-10 finish this season, a tie for ninth at the competitive Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational from Statesboro, Ga. The Southern Conference Men's Golf Championships will tee off tomorrow morning and continue through Sunday from the Furman University Golf Course in Greeneville, S.C.
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