The Gustavus Adolphus men’s golf team is set to compete in the 2012 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Championships held this weekend, Saturday, Oct. 6th through Monday, Oct. 8th, at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minn. The Gusties will look to continue their strong play after winning the Twin Cities Classic last weekend, and improve on last year’s MIAC second place finish.
The MIAC women will play the North and East courses at Bunker Hills each day, with the men playing the East and West courses. Pairings and tee times for Saturday’s opening round are determined by last year’s finish at the MIAC Championships, and Sunday and Monday’s pairings and tee times will be dictated by the previous day’s scores.
A Year Ago
Following a fifth place standing after two rounds of play, the Gusties put forth a strong showing in the final round of the 2011 MIAC Championships to finish second for the third time in the past four years. Gustavus totaled rounds of 308-303-290 for a total of 901 on the tournament. It was the first time since 2007 that three Gusties garnered all-conference honors.
The three all-conference players were led by Andrew Oakes (Jr., Hermantown, Minn.), who tied for third with a seven-over-par 223 to garner his first all-conference honor of his career. After sitting in 20th through the first two rounds, Alex Kolquist (Sr., Hermantown, Minn.) shot the lowest round of the fall in the final round. Kolquist posted a two-under-par 72 to give him an eight-over-par 224 for the tournament, which moved him in to a tie for fifth place and earned him all-conference honors for the second time in his Gustavus career. Coby Rowley (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) tied for 10th with a twelve-over-par 228 for his first all-conference mark.
The Gustie men enter the 2012 MIAC Championships on a roll after a first place finish in a difficult field at the Twin Cities Classic last weekend. With a team average of 299.7 strokes per 18 holes, the Gusties lead the MIAC in stroke average and have finished in the top three at all four tournaments this year, including first place finishes at the Augsburg Invitational on Sept. 8th and 9th, and the Twin Cities Classic last weekend.
Hermantown duo Alex Kolquist and Andrew Oakes have led the charge for Gustavus this season. Kolquist holds a league-best 73.6 average and has recorded three top 10 finishes this year, including two top fives and one tournament win. The senior will look to become the first three-time all-conference honoree since current assistant coach Jordan Hawkinson `08 did it in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Andrew Oakes has enjoyed his share of success this season as well. With a stroke average of 74.0, the junior is ranked third in the MIAC. Oakes has amassed four top 10 finishes on the year, two of them being top five results and one tournament win.
The MIAC Championships will feature 10 of the 11 conference schools. Hamline is the only institution who will not be represented in the tournament. Of the 10 schools participating, three have been recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division III College Coaches Poll. Gustavus leads the trio with a 15th place rank while Saint John’s sits in 18th and St. Thomas slides in at 24th.
As usual, each team will play one 18-hole round each day, with the champion and individual places decided by the cumulative scores after all 54 holes are complete. Saturday and Sunday will both begin with tee times starting at 11:20 a.m., and Monday’s final round will start at 9 a.m. with a brief awards ceremony to conclude the tournament. The top individual will receive medalist honors, while the top 10 individuals – including ties – will be honored as All-Conference performers.
The MIAC Web site will offer live scoring updates throughout the tournament, along with complete results and recaps following each day of action with photos and videos to highlight the event as well. Stay tuned to the 2012 MIAC Golf Championship Home Page, as well as the MIAC’s social media networks on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube throughout the weekend to stay connected to all the action at Bunker Hills.