May 21, 2010

By Mike Beas, Special to

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- While it might not have been the start Cyril Bouniol was hoping for, the finish more than made up for it.

The Abilene Christian junior, who through three rounds of play had yet to card a single double bogey, did so on the first hole Friday, a 447-yard par 4. Bouniol overshot the green on his second shot, his ball landing in thick rough.

Unfazed, he produced an eagle 3 on No. 2, a sharp turnaround that allowed him to shoot 2-under 70 and capture individual medalist honors by six shots over runner-up Justin Yoder of Central Missouri at the NCAA Division II men's golf championships at Sagamore Golf Club.

"I didn't really think about winning until my one-footer on 18 green," said Bouniol, who was born and raised in France prior to coming to the United States in January 2008. "I'm really glad I handled the pressure because everyone was expecting me to do good. I stuck to my game plan the whole week and didn't let anything bother me."

Bouniol's calm during high-pressure competitions such as this has become habit, says seventh-year Wildcats coach Mike Campbell.

"After he made that double-bogey I couldn't see any difference in him," said Campbell. "Cyril has made great strides in that area. In his last four tournaments he's finished second, first, second and first. He's getting better and better."

WEATHER OR NOT: No mental attitude award was presented at the conclusion of the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships. If there was, Mother Nature wouldn't have qualified as a viable candidate.

Between the occasional spitting of rain and a four-day blanket of gray cloud cover, nothing even slightly resembling optimal golfing conditions ever made their way to this Indianapolis suburb.

COURSE RECORD TIED TWICE: Two days after Bouniol dropped jaws with a 68 to tie the course record, University of Indianapolis senior Seth Fair posted the same score on Friday to finish fourth overall individually with a four-round total of 8-over 296.

It was the final round of Fair's collegiate career and he did everything in his power to make it special.

"I made a lot of par putts I needed to keep the round going, and I chipped in for birdie on No. 9. That gave me a lot of confidence," said Fair. "Really, I just knew things were going right, and that chip gave me momentum going into the back nine."

Later in the day, Lynn's Marcus Williams added another name to the course-record list with a 68 of his own.