UCCS Wins Northwest Regional, Advances to National Championship
PETALUMA, Calif. -- The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's golf team qualified for nationals Wednesday with a dominant 23-stroke victory at the NCAA Division II Northwest Regional Championship at Adobe Creek Golf Club.
The Mountain Lions will be one of 20 teams competing at the NCAA Division II National Championships, which will be held May 14-17 at Memorial Park Golf Club in Houston, Texas.
David Cosel led UCCS Wednesday with a 1-under par 71, while Todd Napikoski and Brian Morfeld were close behind at 73 and Tyler Bishop was at 74. Tuesday's top scorer, Eric Winder, struggled to a non-scoring 80 Wednesday. In NCAA golf, only the best four scores are counted towards the team score.
The Mountain Lions, who came into the final round with an 11-stroke lead, quickly separated themselves from the field by going 1-under par on the front nine. That score came despite the seventh hole, a 405-yard par 4, which proved particularly difficult. Winder, Morfeld, Napikoski and Cosel each took a bogey on the hole and Bishop got saddled with a double bogey.
Although UCCS went 4-over par on the back nine, the win had already been all but assured.
Western New Mexico shot a three-round score of 898 to finish second, while Nebraska-Kearney was third at 902 and Minnesota State, Mankato took fourth at 905.
UCCS' depth played a big part in the victory, as four of the five participants either had the best score or were tied for the best score in one of the three rounds. The fifth, Bishop, shot rounds of 74, 71 and 75 on the 6,840-yard, par 72 layout.
For the tournament, Bishop, Napikoski and Cosel each finished with three-round scores of 220 (4-over par) to join Colorado State-Pueblo's David Duarte in a four-way tie for third place. Morfeld was tied for eighth at 222, while Winder tied for 20th at 231.
Western New Mexico's Scott Crichton and Nebraska-Kearney's Max Hadenfeldt tied for top individual honors at 219.
UCCS will be joined at nationals by host Sonoma State, which won the West Regional. Both the Northwest and the West Regionals were held at the same course on the same days as part of the NCAA's Super Regional format. Joining those two schools Western Washington, Grand Canyon and Cal State-Stanislaus, which all qualified as at-large teams.
UCCS, which came into the regional as the No. 29 ranked team in the nation, should improve its national ranking significantly. The Mountain Lions scored better than No. 20 Grand Canyon, No. 6 Cal State-Stanislaus, No. 24 Cal State-San Bernardino, No. 15 Chico State and No. 18 Hawaii-Hilo.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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