Jordan Francis named medalist in golf tourney

Published 9:21 am Friday, April 21, 2017

Jordan Francis, a Southampton High School graduate, is credited with leading the Chowan University men’s golf team to its second consecutive Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship title, and was declared the low medalist of the event.

Francis posted a two-day score of 145, only one stroke over par, during the tournament, held on April 13 and 14 in Glen Allen, earning a No. 2 CIAA golf season ranking with his 76.5 strokes-per-round average. As a result, the Chowan Hawks overcame a No. 4 Round 1 finish to capture their second golf championship title in the school’s history.

Jordan Francis with Billy Britton, holding trophies from the CIAA tournament.

“He [Francis] played outstanding,” said Chowan’s men’s golf head coach, Michael Ordnung. “An eight-shot victory is really hard to come by, and it led us to the victory. He was a big part of us winning the championship for the first time last year, and an even bigger part this year.”

Chowan ultimately held off the season favorite, Virginia Union University, by five strokes, improving to a score of 306 during the final round, after making 325 in the first. The runner-up VUU Panthers posted a 636 while Livingstone College limited their score to 639 strokes for a third-place finish.

According to Francis, competitive golf teams work by having .five players at the tournament each day, with four out of those five scores counting. At the end of each day, those four scores are tallied up and the lowest combined team score is declared the winner.

Francis has finished all-conference every year since he has been playing on Chowan’s team, but said that this tournament was his first individual win. He has been playing golf competitively since his sophomore year of high school at Southampton. It was there that he began playing golf with fellow SHS students Billy Britton of Sedley, and Steven “Bo” Rhinard of Courtland, who now also play on Chowan’s golf team.

“We were all really good friends; we played golf all the time together,” Francis said.

He added that, though ultimately each of them made the decision to attend Chowan separately, Britton influenced both of them to consider attending Chowan and playing on the school’s golf team, with some additional persuasion from Coach Ordnung.

“It was kind of influenced by us wanting to continue to play golf together,” Francis said.

Francis, who lives in Boykins when not at college, is pursuing a bachelor of science in business and anticipates to graduate in May of 2018.

He hopes to work in the business side of agriculture. Britton will likely graduate next fall and Rhinard has another year and a half of school.