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Men's Golf Finishes 18th at NCAA Championships

Men's Golf Finishes 18th at NCAA Championships

Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - The Pacific Lutheran University men's golf team capped off the season with its best finish in program history on Friday, placing 18th at the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships at El Campeon Golf Course.

The Lutes finished with a team score of 1263 (314-305-325-319) for the four-day event, finishing 18th among the 42-team field. The finish eclipses PLU's previous best finish of placing 20th at the 2001 Championships.

"This was a great season," Head Coach Kris Swanson said. "Overall I couldn't have asked for more. To win the conference championship, have the player of the year in the conference and then to make the cut at Nationals is so memorable." 

Kyle Drugge led the team in the fourth and final round of the tournament. He played a consistent round, shooting three over on the front nine and two over on the back, finishing with a 77 for the round, with birdies coming on the seventh and 14th holes. Drugge finished the tournament with the a 314 (79-79-79-77) for 71st overall.

Mitchell Baldridge and Thomas Huddleston had solid rounds for the Lutes on Friday. Baldridge finished his round with four birdies. He completed his day by shooting a 79 and had a team-best 313 (76-77-81-79) for the tournament. Huddleston shot even par on 12 holes, shooting an 80 and finishing with a 318 (80-75-83-80). 

Ryan Sturdivan had a pair of birdies in his final round of the tournament. He shot an 83 on the day and carded a 318 (79-74-82-83) for the tournament while Alex Nelson finished with an 86 on Friday. 

"They have represented our program, families, institution, and conference with the highest of standards all season not only on the course but off it," Swanson said. "As a coach I can't ask for much more than that. It's been a great season. We learned a lot and will use this moving forward."

Wittenberg University won the national title, owning a two-stroke edge on Guilford College after carding a score of 1180 (298-290-299=293).