Coon Rapids, Minn. – After turning in the lowest score on all three days of the 2012 Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference (MIAC) Championships, the Gustavus men’s golf team has earned the right to be called champion. Monday brought the final round of play at Bunker Hills Golf Course where the Gusties finished in first, 16 strokes in front of the second place finisher Saint John’s. Alex Kolquist (Sr., Hermantown, Minn.) made the championship run that much sweeter after turning in the finest performance in MIAC history on his way to claiming individual medalist honors.
Gustavus opened the weekend with a 300 (+12) in Saturday’s first round, bursting out of the gate to an early lead and never looking back. A second round 290 (+2) on Sunday would extend the lead to 10 strokes before finishing the tournament with a final round 295 (+7) on Monday for a tournament mark of 885 (+21). Monday’s performance put the finishing touches on what proved to be the fourth best team total in the seven years since the MIAC moved to a 54-hole format in 2006.
Alex Kolquist became the 24th Gustie to be crowned the MIAC’s individual champion. After getting off to a strong start in the first round with a three-under-par 69, the senior exploded in the second round with a career-best five-under 67. Sunday’s second round total matched the lowest round of his career, the other in 2010 when he shot a five-under 67 in the second round of the Twin Cities Classic. Kolquist finished off the tournament with his third consecutive round under par with a one-under 71 in Monday’s final round to bring his total to a nine-under 207, the lowest three-round total in Gustavus history.
“I am speechless,” said Kolquist. “I have played well this season and this was the cherry on top. Winning this championship with coach Moe and all the guys on the team is something that I’ll always remember.”
Kolquist registered the MIAC’s lowest 54-hole total in the seven years of the 54-hole format. His 207 shattered Johnnie Tony Krogen’s mark of 213 in 2009, and is the lowest of any Gustie at the MIAC Championships by nine strokes, surpassing Erik Tone’s total of 216 in 2006.
“I can’t say enough about how great Alex played this weekend,” remarked head coach Scott Moe. “It was one of the best performances I have ever seen on a golf course.”
The Gusties also placed two more members on the All-Conference team. Juniors Andrew Oakes (Hermantown, Minn.) and Tyler McMorrow (St. Cloud, Minn.) tied for fourth to earn All-MIAC honors by way of a finish inside the top 10. Oakes garners the honor for the second consecutive season, while McMorrow takes home the distinction for the first time in his collegiate career.
After posting a first round three-over-par 75 on Saturday and a second round five-over 77 on Sunday, Oakes came roaring back on day three with an even-par 72, the second lowest round of the afternoon. The junior finished with an eight-over-par 224, two strokes behind third place finisher Dennis Granath of Saint John’s, and just one stroke off his total at the MIAC Championships a year ago when he finished third with a seven-over-par 223.
McMorrow combined a four-over 76 in the first round with an even-par 72 in the second round and another four-over 76 in the final round to place him alongside his teammate in a tie for fourth. After a 19th place finish at last year’s MIAC Championships, the St. Cloud, Minn. native enjoyed his third top five finish of the fall.
The Gusties also got a solid performance from Trevor Gervais (Sr., Fergus Falls, Minn.).
After a second place finish last weekend at the Twin Cities Classic, the senior put forth an 11th place showing after shooting a nine-over 81 in Saturday’s first round, a two-over 74 in Sunday’s second round, and a four-over 76 in Monday’s final round to help push the Gusties to victory.
“The team effort all weekend was outstanding,” stated Moe. “I am very proud of these guys. We worked very hard all fall preparing for this run. This was one of our main goals and it feels good to see these guys to accomplish it.”
Monday marks the 26th MIAC Championship for the Gustavus golf program, and head coach Scott Moe’s seventh MIAC title in his 17-year coaching career.