Destin, Fla. – The Gustavus men’s golf team concluded its 2013 season with a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championship on Friday afternoon. After sitting in a tie for eighth place after Thursday’s third round, the Gusties shot a nine-over-par 297 in Friday’s final round to finish seventh. It is the first time since 2004 that the Gusties have finished in the top 10.
“I think we played a solid final day,” mentioned Head Coach Scott Moe. “The course played very tough all week and got more difficult as the week progressed. Friday’s pin positions were certainly not any more generous, but the guys still played pretty well. We avoided some big holes, which was something that plagued us earlier in the week.”
For the third straight round, Tyler McMorrow (Jr., St. Cloud, Minn.) led the way for the Gusties in the final round. McMorrow turned in an even-par 72 on Friday and finished the tournament with a two-over-par 290. The junior finished tied for fifth in the individual standings. McMorrow posted the best finish by a Gustie golfer since 2004 when Luke Benoit finished second at Southern California Golf Club. By virtue of his finish, McMorrow will earn a place on the PING All-America Team.
“The first day was a bit of a struggle for me,” said McMorrow. “I couldn’t get any putts to drop so it was tough to get it going, but I just kept telling myself it would get better from there. The Raven is a course that set up much better for me so I knew I could turn it around as long as I stayed patient.”
Tyler stated that his game plan the rest of the week was to stay patient and stay within himself. “The Raven has a lot of holes that you can make birdie on, but you can’t force it. My putter is what really turned it around the last three days. I finally started making a few putts, especially some par saves that were huge to keep a round going.”
“Tyler played well all week,” stated Coach Moe of McMorrow’s performance. “He hit many great shots and had great control of his game. His irons were solid and as great as he played, he actually had a few more opportunities to go low; that shows you how well he played.”
Following McMorrow, Trevor Gervais (Sr., Fergus Falls, Minn.) produced a two-over-par 74 on the final day of competition. After three rounds in the 80’s earlier in the week, the senior concludes his career with an impressive round and a 79th place finish.
Alex Kolquist (Sr., Hermantown, Minn.) came next with a three-over-par 75 on Friday. For the tournament, Kolquist shot an 18-over-par 306 to place 46th. This year’s 46th place standing comes one year removed from a 36th place finish in last year’s NCAA Championship and two years removed from a 21st place finish in 2011 when Kolquist competed individually in the NCAA Championship.
Following the tournament’s final day, Alex Kolquist was named a PING First Team All-American by GCAA. First-Team All-Americans included Cory Howard of LaGrange, Christopher Newport’s Brian Jaeger, Alex Kolquist of Gustavus Adolphus, Oglethorpe’s Anthony Maccaglia, Noah Ratner of Guilford, Brad Shigezawa of CMS, Saint John’s Casey Vangsness and Methodist’s Mike Wesko.
One stroke behind Kolquist on the day, Andrew Oakes (Jr., Hermantown, Minn.) produced a round of four-over-par 76. Consistent throughout the tournament, Oakes turned in a tournament of 75-76-76-76 for a 15-over-par 303, good enough to tie for 39th place.
Rounding out the Gustavus lineup on the final day was Coby Rowley (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) with an eight-over-par 80. The highlight of Rowley’s week was in the opening round when the senior shot an even-par 72. Rowley finished with a 23-over-par 311 to place tied for 59th.
The seventh place finish marks the 10th appearance in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships in Gustavus men’s golf history, something that Head Coach Scott Moe is proud of.
“What a great group of guys,” Moe complimented. “This group of seniors came in as freshmen, took over this program, and pointed it in the right direction. They have set the bar very high for Gustavus golf and I am thrilled where we are right now. The work ethic those players have set for the rest of the team has been great to see. I am very excited for what is down the road, but certainly want to celebrate what our seniors have accomplished.“