The Gustavus Adolphus men’s golf team finished its pre-MIAC Championship schedule Monday with a fourth-place finish at the Frank Wrigglesworth Blugold Collegiate hosted by UW-Eau Claire. Gustavus posted a two-day team total of 599. Jordan Hawkinson (Jr., Lindstrom, Minn.) finished tied for seventh with a score of 73-74–147 to lead the Gusties.
UW-Eau Claire (296-291–587) overcame a four-stroke deficit to take first place for the second year in a row at their own tournament, finishing three strokes ahead of runner-up Saint John’s (292-298–590), while the Eau Claire Gold (309-285–294) squad moved up five spots with a final round total of 285 to leap past the Gusties (297-302–599) into third place in the 15-team tournament. St. Thomas rounded out the top five at 305-296–601.
Senior Erik Tone (Willmar, Minn.) finished in a three-way tie for 14th place at 8-over-150, while juniors Mark Stuckey (St. Peter, Minn.) and Eric Harris (Eden Prairie, Minn.) each finished at 9-over-151. Ricky Copeland (Fr., Mahtomedi, Minn.) rounded out the Gustie scoring with an 85-82–167.
The Blugolds defend their turf well. Last year, the two Eau Claire teams succeeded at the home event as well with the regular team winning it all and the Gold team taking second. The Blugolds have won their home event seven times in the past 10 years.
The Gusties will be after their 25th league title and their first since 2003 this weekend as the 2006 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Championship descends upon Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids. The three day (Saturday-Monday), 54-hole format is new this year along with the automatic bid to the 2007 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship for the MIAC team champion. These two changes will surely add drama to this traditionally competitive event.