Category - Amateur Programs

Grand Canyon University’s A Team Wins Fall 2023 NCCGA National Championship

By Alan Cox
Published on

“Fight and finish.”
That was the phrase Grand Canyon University’s A Team used as motivation heading into the final day of the Fall 2023 National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) National Championship at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
It was an apt description as Grand Canyon’s A Team fought all the way to the end to defeat the University of Florida in a playoff to take the National Championship.
Grand Canyon’s A Team was tied for the lead entering the final round, and it finished the 36-hole event at 15-over 735. However, Florida surged on day two and carded the only under-par round of the championship with a 3-under 357 to force a one-hole playoff.
In the end, Grand Canyon took the playoff hole by a score of 29-22 to win its first NCCGA National Championship.
“Emotions have been up and down all day,” said Grand Canyon Club President and team member David Charos.

“When we heard we were going to a playoff, you get those nerves. But at the end of the day, we believed in our guys.”

GCU President David Charos
“When we heard we were going to a playoff, you get those nerves. But at the end of the day, we believed in our guys.”
High Point University (30-over 750) finished in third place followed by Virginia Tech (33-over 753) in fourth and Grand Canyon University’s B Team (34-over 754) in fifth.
Grand Canyon’s A Team was led to victory by Brandon Winters (6-under 138), who won the individual medal by four strokes over Zach Cozza (2-under 142) from Grand Canyon’s B Team.
Brandon Winters.
Brandon Winters.
“[In the Spring], we took second, and the team got even better after that,” said Winters. “After winning two out of three regionals and being ranked first nationally, we knew we were the favorites coming in.”
Winters, who entered the day two strokes off the individual lead, vaulted his way up the leaderboard to claim the title after carding a 5-under 67, the lowest round of the championship.
“The pressure [coming into round two] was definitely real,” said Winters. “I knew I was going to have to go out and take it, that it wasn’t just going to be handed to me at the score I was at. I just kept hitting good shots and kept trying to make birdies.”
The second-place University of Florida squad.
The second-place University of Florida squad.
Despite posting a final round that included five birdies, highlighted by three straight on holes 10-12, Winters said it wasn’t a birdie putt that stood out from the round.
“I made about an eight-footer for par on 17,” said Winters. “I knew it was going to get down close and all the cameras were watching. Keeping that momentum into 18 was really big.”
NC State’s Cayden Bryner and Florida International University’s Jean-Philippe Mehu tied for third after carding even-par 144. Florida’s Ajay Patel rounded out the top five with a 1-over 145.
The Fall 2023 NCCGA National Invitational, held simultaneously this past weekend at The Refuge Golf Course in Flowood, Mississippi, also finished in a playoff. Miami University (Ohio) came away victorious over the University of Virginia after both teams were tied at 13-over 733 through 36 holes.
Nicholas Owen from Virginia took the individual medal at the Invitational, finishing at 7-under 137 to win by five strokes over Miami (Ohio)’s Conner Warns (2-under 142).
Srixon and Cleveland Golf, the NCCGA National Partners, were on-site at Dancing Rabbit to provide players with a full championship experience.

For more information about the NCCGA and NCCGA Nationals, visit