Chase Kaiser, MGCCC Bulldogs earn honors heading into championship

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Mississippi Gulf Coast’s David Beard made his presence known in his first season of collegiate golf, picking up two prestigious awards ahead of this week’s NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship here.

He won the Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award presented by StrackaLine and was named to the PING All-American First Team.

Teammate Reeves Johnson earned All-American Honorable Mention honors. Chase Kaiser earned a spot alongside Beard and Johnson on the East All-Region Team.

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Gulf Coast coach Brad Thornton was named East Region Coach of the Year. His Bulldogs head into this week’s tournament ranked No. 1 in the Bushnell Golfweek NJCAA Division II Coaches Poll.

The Golf Coaches Association of America announced the awards before the national championship banquet at the Twin Hill Golf Club.

Beard, who comes from Madison, was a First-Team All-MACCC performer for the Bulldogs this season. He won the Coastal Alabama Invitational and finished second at the NJCAA Preview Tournament in Joplin as well as the NJCAA District D Championship in Brandon. Overall, he finished in the top 10 six times this season and finished the regular season ranked 16th in Golfstat’s individual rankings with an adjusted scoring average of 73.08.

Johnson, a sophomore who is also part of Gulf Coast’s Madison pipeline, finished in the top 10 five times, including third-place finishes at the Hinds Fall Invitational and District D Championship.

Kaiser, a freshman from Natchez, won the MGCCC Fall Invitational and had six top-eight finishes.

Gulf Coast tees off just after noon on Tuesday in the first round of the national championship. The Bulldogs will play with No. 3 Kirkwood and No. 4 Parkland on Day 1.

For more information on MGCCC’s 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to