And another one! Men's golf brings home seventh national title
MESA, Ariz. - The Texas Wesleyan men's golf team held up the red banner, winning the 2019 NAIA Men's Golf Championship by 11 shots at Las Sendas Golf Club's Hilly Desert Course on Friday.
The Rams reign again, taking the crown from the defending Oklahoma City Stars. Texas Wesleyan moves into second place in all-time national championship wins. Oklahoma City leads the NAIA with 11 victories.
"As I was thinking back over the years of making the tournament, I'm most proud of the fact of the span of time separating the wins," commented Head Coach Bobby Cornett on the win. "29 years after winning the first one, we get one here after being really close so many times before." Cornett is referring to the dominance of 10 top 5 and 20 top 10 finishes from 1990 to 2019.
The blazing Rams could not be caught as Coastal Georgia and the rest of the 17-team field had no chance to catching Texas Wesleyan. The Mariners finished the tournament in second, nine shots behind TXWES.
The Stars finished the championship in third, led by Ty Stites, who finished in a share of sixth. Wayland Baptist ended the tourney in 11th.
Futa Yamagishi had the low round of the day for Texas Wesleyan, shooting and even par 71 and climbing 10 spots on the leaderboard to finish in a share of 26th. The senior from Tokyo, Japan played a spotless back nine and had just one blemish, a bogey on nine that he erased with a birdie on the 120-yard par three 7th. In total, he had 16 pars on the day.
Victor Miron shot 77 (+6) in the final round, but with two straight rounds under par it was still good enough to lead the team and an eighth place finish.
Tyron Davidowitz finished the tournament just outside the top 10 in a share for eleventh with a four-round total of 291.
Rowan Lester kept his nerve in an up-and-down round, posting a tournament total of 293, good for a share of the 14th spot. He helped his cause with five birdies.
“Our golf team has established a phenomenal record over a long period of time and this national championship just adds to the legacy of this program," said Athletic Director Ricky Dotson. "I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of these guys. Bobby and Shaun [Hensley] have led a special group of young men to the top of the mountain and Texas Wesleyan University, and all our fans, couldn’t be more excited.”
Three players needed more than 72-holes to decide who would take home the individual championship, as Mark Johnson of Coastal Georgia took the first playoff hole to claim the title over Alec Dutkowski (Taylor) and Logan Carver (British Columbia).
The Rams finish the season with six wins. The 2019 title is the first national championship for the team since 1999 and marks program win number 223.