The Gustavus Adolphus men’s golf team will participate in the 2006 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Golf Championships this weekend at Bunker Hills G.C. in Coon Rapids, Minn. The Gusties, who are in pursuit of their 25th league crown, will be trying to knock off two-time defending champion Saint John’s.
This Saturday morning, ten MIAC men’s golf teams will begin a three-day battle for the conference crown and the right to participate in the 2007 NCAA Division III Championship. The three day (Saturday-Monday), 54-hole format is new this year along with the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship for the MIAC team champion. These two changes will surely add drama to this traditionally competitive event.
Two-time reigning MIAC Champion Saint John’s leads the list of teams contending for the 2006 title. Gustavus returns a strong team along with Augsburg; both should compete with Saint John’s for the top spot. Concordia and St. Thomas tied for fourth a year ago, but the Cobbers and the Tommies both return All-MIAC golfers and will have the potential to win it all. Bethel and Macalester will enter this season’s championship with young talented individuals and hope to surprise the conference. Saint Mary’s, St. Olaf and Carleton all will look to improve upon last season’s results with more experienced golfers.
Eight of the top ten individuals return from last season’s MIAC Championship. Leading the group is 2005 medalist Joe Daly of Saint John’s. Daly was also last season’s MIAC Co-Freshman of the Year. Gustavus junior Jordan Hawkinson (2nd place in 2005) also returns along with Saint John’s senior Andrew Longbella (4th at 2005 Championships and 2005 MIAC MVP), St. Thomas junior John Treacy (tied for 5th in 2005), Augsburg junior Andrew Womeldorf (tied for 5th in 2005), Concordia junior Drew Dvorak (8th in 2005), Augsburg senior Erik Helgerson (9th in 2005), and St. Thomas senior Jon Lundeen (9th in 2005).