Rowan Lester, a freshman from Dublin, Ireland, became the 11th member of the Texas Wesleyan University Men's Golf Program to win the NAIA Individual National Championship on Friday. Lester turned in a card of 74 on a rain-soaked course at TPC Deere Run on Friday to finish at +3 for the tournament. His performance led the Rams back into contention for the title on their way to a third place finish.
Lester's win marked the second consecutive year that the NAIA Individual Title was won by a freshman from Texas Wesleyan. David Ravetto accomplished the feat last season as well.
Lester led wire-to-wire on his way to the NAIA Arnold Palmer National Individual Champion award. He took command of the tournament during a windy opening round in which he fired a round of -2 (69) on the par 71 (6,651 yard) championship course. The lead dwindled to a single shot following round three, but a final round 74 under difficult conditions sealed a three-stroke victory.
"It was similar to yesterday," Lester said following the final round. "I didn't play that well, but I chipped and putted amazingly. From number nine to fourteen, I think I had four one-putts, and many of those were to par. That kept me in it. I stuck to what I could hit well, and my putting was just amazing all week."
Texas Wesleyan University Athletics has won seven National Championships in three sports this season (Men's Basketball, Table Tennis, and Men's Golf) pushing the department's all-time total to 84 national championships (28 team and 56 individual).