St. Peter, Minn. – The members of the Gustavus Adolphus men’s golf team will take their final practice swings on Monday before the beginning 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships on Tuesday, May 14. The championships will be held May 14-17, at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, in Destin, Fla.
“Well there’s no snow on the ground so that’s good,” joked Head Coach Scott Moe about the Florida weather compared to that of Minnesota’s. The Gusties flew in to Destin on Saturday and have been training throughout the days leading up to the start of the tournament.
“We had a great weekend of practice and are set to go on Tuesday,” continued Moe. “Keeping the ball in play and getting off to a solid start will be key at a tough course on Tuesday. Once we get through day one, the rest of the week will be a shootout on a wide open course.”
The Gustavus men’s golf team is making its 26th appearance in the NCAA Championship Tournament. In tournament history, Gustavus has placed third once, finished runner-up three times, and has won the NCAA Championship nearly ten years ago in 2004. Among the teams in the 2013 field, only Methodist (33), Central (32), Greensboro (31), Nebraska Wesleyan (29), and Skidmore (27) have made more appearances at nationals.
A total of 210 participants will compete at the 2013 championships. Thirty conferences were awarded automatic qualification for the championships. Four teams were selected from Pool B, which consists of independent institutions, and institutions that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. The final seven berths were reserved for Pool C, which are institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champion and any remaining Pool B teams. The top-five individuals are selected from the remaining players who have not qualified with a team.
The Gusties will head into the weekend ranked No. 4 in the most recent Golf World/Nike Golf Division III College Coaches’ Poll released on Tuesday, May 6. Gustavus moved up one spot from its No. 5 ranking in the last poll released on April 22nd.
The Black and Gold enters the NCAA Tournament with the sixth-best average score per player in the country at 75.78.
Leading the way for Head Coach Scott Moe’s squad will be senior Alex Kolquist (Hermantown, Minn.). The 2012 MIAC Individual Medalist leads the team with a stroke average of 72.56 (+1) this season. He has played in 18 rounds and has recorded three tournament wins and five top five finishes. His low round of 67 is tied for sixth all-time at Gustavus while his nine-under-par 207 shot at the MIAC Championships is not only the lowest three-round total in the history of Gustavus men’s golf, but it is also the lowest 54-hole total in the history of the MIAC Tournament. Kolquist enters the NCAA Championships ranked fifth in the country in average score. He sits behind LaGrange’s Cory Howard (4th-72.53), Methodist’s Mike Wesko (3rd-72.18), Claremont McKenna’s Brad Shigezawa (2nd-72.05), and Oglethorpe’s Anthony Maccaglia (1st-71.57).
Completing the Hermantown battery is junior Andrew Oakes who sits second on the team with a stroke average of 75.17 (+4). Also shooting 18 rounds this season, Oakes has one tournament victory and has finished on the podium three times. The two-time All-Conference performer is currently ranked 53rd in the country in average score.
The third spot in the Gustavus lineup will be filled by junior Tyler McMorrow (St. Cloud, Minn.). In 18 rounds, McMorrow sits just behind Oakes with an average of 75.33 (63rd/NCAA). He has posted a total of six top five finishes, three of which have come at tournaments this spring.
Rounding out the Gustavus lineup will be Trevor Gervais (Sr., Fergus Falls, Minn.) and Coby Rowley (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.). Gervais holds a stroke average of 76.5 (+5) in 16 rounds, while Rowley carries a stroke average of 78.6 (+7) in 18 rounds.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a 2,400-acre premier destination Florida resort located in Northwest Florida, between Pensacola and Panama City. The tournament will be held at Raven Golf Club and the Links Golf Club. The Raven Course, home in 2006 and 2007 to a stop on the PGA Champions Tour, is carved through the marshes, wetlands and pine trees of Sandestin. It has a rating of 73.8 with a tournament yardage of 6,854 yards. The Links Golf Club is the ultimate in risk reward golf that provides competitors with views of the Emerald Coast. The Links has a course rating of 72.2 with a tournament yardage of 6,636.
The Gustavus men’s golf team will team off at 8:20 a.m. CST on Tuesday, May 14. The Gusties will compete alongside Emory University and Farmingdale State College at the Links Golf Club on day one.
Live scoring for the tournament can be found via the link below.