Area teams miss D-II Championship berths in regional birdie fest

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AXTELL, Neb. – Great American Conference Player of the Year Stefan Idtsam finished tied for fourth place at the NCAA Division II Super Regional Championships – which concluded on Wednesday at Awarii Dunes Golf Course – but he came up two shots away from qualifying for the National Championships.

The Southwestern Oklahoma State star fired a 1-under-par 71 in the final round, finishing the tournament at 13-under with 203 strokes in the three-round event. He finished Wednesday’s round with three birdies and two bogeys, which left him two shots behind second place and four shots off the pace, which was set by Keenai Sampson of McKendree.

Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State University also failed to advance to the national championship.

SWOSU shot a team total of 294 strokes on Wednesday, falling to 14th place in the team standings with its highest round of the week. Marques Gomez shot 73, Joby Gray and Seth Overstreet 75 and Kason Cook 79.

Central Missouri won the Super Regional Championship by five strokes over Ferris State, who shot a tournament-best 18-under on Wednesday. Those teams advance to the National Championships along with Lindenwood and Arkansas Tech, while Sampson and DJ Vogt of Bellarmine claim individual berths.

A third straight under-par round failed to help Central Oklahoma in its bid for a national tournament berth.  The Bronchos shot a 5-under-par 283 for the third consecutive day to finish at 15-under 849, though amazingly that was only good enough for an eighth-place tie in a hotly contested team race that saw plenty of ebbs and flows on the final day.

Seventeen of the 20 teams – and 65 of the 108 individuals — finished under par in the 54-hole tournament at the 7,001-yard, par-72 Awarii Dunes Golf Course, led by champion Central Missouri at 33-under 831.

Alexander Hughes led UCO in the final round with a three-under 69, while Wesley Jackson and Cody Troutman both had one-under 71s.  Nick Piece added a 72 and Eli Armstrong a 74.

The Bronchos made 18 birdies on the day and UCO’s four counting players were minus-eight on the front nine before shooting three-over on the back as the last-day comeback try fell short.

All five players will be back next year for the Bronchos.  Pierce just completed his freshman season, while the other four will be seniors in 2017-18.

Northeastern State remained in 18th place in the final day of the NCAA Central / Midwest Region Regional on Wednesday as their season came to a close.

Remarkably the RiverHawks carded an even 864 (297-282-285) which normally would have equaled a solid finish at any other tournament this season.

The difference between 18th and fourth place was 24 shots, which would have advanced a team to the National Championships.

“We couldn’t recover from our +11 on the first three holes on Monday and we were 11-under the rest of the day. We were even par for the tournament and couldn’t make up any ground,” said head coach Scott Varner.   “Not much separation between teams, I have never seen anything like it in all my NCAA events.”

“This was truly a putting contest and the course was simply too easy.”

The top finisher for the tournament finished 17-under with every player finishing in the top-49 carding scores under-par.

Navid Majidizadeh finished his freshman season leading NSU with a 213 (75-66-72) and he was tied for 37th.  Ty Shelnutt, the RiverHawks other freshman starting at the NCAA Regional had their second lowest score at a 215 (71-73-71).

“Our two freshman led us and that was a positive,” added Varner.  “Navid has come a long way in particular, he shot 3-under for the tournament.  Ty and him should lead us in a great way over the next three years.”

Tate Williamson completed his four-year career with a 219 (71-71-77) and tied for 77th place.  Griffen Matthias carded NSU’s low round of the day with a 69 and shot a 224.  Marc Johnson, NSU’s other four-year letter winner completed his tournament with a 235 (80-72-73).

“Felt sad for Tate, he was clearly one of the best players in the region for the second year in a row and has an outside shot at All-American.  He is one of the top-10 players to ever play for me here in 19 years and that says a lot,” Varner said.

Central/Midwest Super Regional Championships

Axtell, Neb. (Awarii Dunes Golf Course)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Final Results


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Ken MacLeod

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