MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – The Wisconsin Lutheran College men's golf team makes its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships this week after earning the automatic qualification for the third straight season from the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC).
ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Forty-two teams and 215 players will compete at the 2017 championships, which will be held May 16-19 at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, and hosted by Oglethorpe and the Central Florida Sports Commission. The El Campeón Course is a par 72 course with yardage of 6,844 while the Las Colinas Course is a par 72 course at 6,888 yards.
The Warriors will tee off on Tuesday, May 16 starting at 7:30 a.m. EST on the Las Colinas course and then on Wednesday, May 17 at 12:00 p.m. EST on the El Campeón course. Wisconsin Lutheran is paired with Christopher Newport and LaGrange on each of the first two days.
After 36 holes of competition, the tournament field will be cut to the top 18 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams.
Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd-Scripps claimed its first national title in school history at the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships, finishing six shots ahead of runner-up Huntingdon. Virginia Wesleyan's Evan Cox took home individual medalist honors after finishing eight-over par for the four-day event and winning a three-way playoff. The 2016 championships were played at Midvale Country Club and Mendon Golf Club in Rochester, New York.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS
The Warriors are the first team in the 11-year history of the NACC to win three straight conference championships after winning the league title by a five-stroke margin (1,255-1,260). Two other teams have won it two straight years. Wisconsin Lutheran, which is just .4 shots off the top league average with a 312.5, has shot under 300 in a round three times this season. The team's season-best 296 (+12) against Lake Forest March 14 is good for the sixth-best round in the NACC this year. Seniors Tyler Wood (Eagan, Minn.) and Garrett Ralston (Machesney Park, Ill.), who were named All-NACC this season, are fourth and sixth in the NACC with 77.4 and 77.6 averages, respectively. The duo has shot even-par twice this year. Ninth-year head coach Adam Volbrecht earned his third straight NACC Coach of the Year honor and fourth overall.
WLC is one of 17 teams making its third straight appearance in the NCAA Championships. Wisconsin Lutheran finished 31st with a two-round 638 at the championships a season ago in Rochester, New York, improving its score by seven shots from its inaugural appearance in 2015. The Warriors are looking to become the first team in the NACC to play in Thursday and Friday's final rounds.
NACC AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Wisconsin Lutheran is the fourth school in NACC history to represent the league at the NCAA Championships and the first to 3-peat as conference champions. Due to its provisional status, the conference was not granted an automatic qualifier in 2007 and 2008. Aurora, Edgewood, MSOE, and WLC have claimed the conference's automatic bids over the past eight seasons.
2016 – Wisconsin Lutheran (638)
2015 – Wisconsin Lutheran (645)
2014 – Edgewood (635)
2013 – MSOE (637)
2012 – Edgewood (642)
2011 – MSOE (612)
2010 – Aurora (636)
2009 – MSOE (620)
|Pos.||Name||Tourn.||Rds.||Avg.||Low 18||Best Finish (Event)|
|1.||Garrett Ralston||10||19.5||77.6||71||1st (Lake Forest Triangular)|
|2.||Tyler Wood||9||18.5||77.4||71||1st (Lake Forest Triangular)
|3.||Tim Pridemore||10||19.5||80.5||73||8th (WLC Spring Invitational)|
|4.||Derick Disch||10||18.5||80.2||74||3rd (Lake Forest Triangular)|
|5.||Damon Gnewikow||10||19.5||80.1||72||3rd (Clarke Spring Invite)|