HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The Ferris State men's golf team placed third and Grand Valley State sixth in the NCAA Midwest/Central Region Tournament in Hot Springs, Ark, and qualified for the NCAA Championships, which take place at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, West Virginia on May 20-24.
The Bulldogs, who were eighth overall following Thursday's opening round of action, stormed up the leaderboard in round two and maintained a top-five finish in the final round as the competitors played 36 grueling holes on the final day to wrap up the event.
The field featured 20 teams on the par 72 Arlington course at the Hot Springs Country Club that measured 6,713 yards with the top six teams overall from the 54-hole super regional advancing to the D2 National Championships. The regional championships were originally slated to be played over three days but the final two rounds were all played Friday due to impending weekend weather.
Ferris State finished with a 879 team score over the three rounds as the Bulldogs followed up their opening round 299 score with a 292 in round two followed by a 288 in the last round. FSU tied with Arkansas Tech for the third spot and trailed only champion Lindenwood (870) and runner-up Missouri-St. Louis (872).
Senior Andrew Hammett led the Bulldogs as he finished tied for fourth overall with a 215 total. After shooting a first-place tying 69 in round one, he came back with a 73 in each of the final two rounds on Friday. FSU senior Jack Weller moved up the charts on Friday and placed tied for seventh at 217 for the tournament. He finished with an even-par 72 in round two and a two-under 70 in the final 18 holes after opening the tourney with a 75 on Thursday. Bulldog senior Seth Terpstra placed tied for 36th overall with a 224 score on rounds of 77 Thursday followed by a 76 in round two and a one-under 71 in the final round. FSU's Thomas Hursey wound up tied for 46th place at 226 as he notched a one-under 71 in round two and a 75 in the final round, coming on the heels of a 80 in the opening 18 holes of action. Finally, the Bulldogs' Andrew Proctor finished tied for 59th with a 228 total. He opened with a 78 and then shot a 76 in the second round and a 74 in round three.
GVSU senior Alex Scott led the Lakers after he carded a final round 70 (-2) to earn a tie for ninth place overall with a three-day score of 218 (+2). Fellow senior Mitchell White finished in a tie for 33rd with a 223 (+7) while senior Bryce Messner and sophomore Owen Rush tied for 66th with total scores of 229 (+13). Eric Nunn also tied for 86th with a 235 (+19).
The Super Regional Championships consisted of 10 teams from the Midwest Region along with 10 from the Central Region. Four individuals from each region also competed in the 54-hole tournament.
By placing among the top six teams, the Bulldogs will now advance to the 2019 NCAA-II Men's Golf Championships slated for May 20-24 at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, W.Va. The finals will be hosted by the Mountain East Conference.
For the 2019 championships, the Midwest/Central Super Regional will be allocated six berths into the D2 National Championships.
FSU will be making its second trip to the national championships in the past three years. Two years ago, in 2017, the Bulldogs earned runner-up honors in the 2017 NCAA-II Midwest/Central Super Regional in Kearney, Neb., before going on to a national quarterfinal finish under head coach Kyle Wittenbach. This year will mark the Bulldogs' 16th appearance at the national championships in school history.
Last year, current FSU senior golfer Andrew Hammett was an individual qualifer for the NCAA Super Regional Championships, which makes this the 17th-straight year in which the Bulldogs have had representation in the NCAA Tournament. The 17-year streak of NCAA Championship representation in men's golf ranks as one of the longest active stretches in the country.
Wayne State, led by Brendan Seys (77-71-79--227) and Austin Alexander, (74-80-73--227) who tied for 50th, placed 19th in the team standings. Northern Michigan's Austin Elser (78-78-73--229) tied for 66th, and Northwood's Jagger Richard (78-75-77--230) tied for 70th.