For the second straight year Hope College has
finished runnerup in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic
Association (MIAA) men's golf standings.
Olivet successfully defended its MIAA championship finishing
just over five strokes per tournament round ahead of the Flying
Dutchmen. That's an advantage of only one stroke per player.
Hope's team average of 385.4 strokes per round was the
college's best since the MIAA tournament format began in 1978.
It also marks the first time that all Hope players who figured
into the team score averaged under 80 strokes per round.
It's the third time in eight seasons under coach Bob Ebels
that Hope has finished second in the MIAA standings. Olivet has
dominated the conference in recent years with eight titles over
the past decade. A year ago Olivet's margin over Hope was 69
strokes. This season it was 42 strokes. Olivet's average of
380.1 strokes per tournament was a conference record. Hope's
average of 385.4 also eclipsed the old league record 387.3.
Freshman Eric Wohlfield of Brighton (Brighton HS) captured
MIAA medalist honors with a league record shattering performance.
Over the eight conference tournaments he averaged 72.4 strokes,
topping the previous league mark by over two strokes per round.
The old standard of 74.6 strokes was set in 1994 by Jason Hartman
Ironically, Wohlfield was the medalist in just two of the
eight tournaments, but he was a picture of consistency. He never
shot over 76 and three times had rounds of 70.
Wohlfield becomes just the seventh Hope golfer to win MIAA
medalist honors since 1947. The last league medalist from Hope
was Mike Peddie in 1994. Other league medalists have been Howard
Jalving (1947 and 1950), Bill Kloote (1949), Bob Holt (1960),
Fred Muller (1969), Brian Westveer (1986) and Magnus Lunblad
Senior teammate Mark Piersma of Kentwood (East Kentwood HS)
achieved All-MIAA first team honors as he finished with the
league's third best average. His average of 75.8 per round ranks
as the third best among Hope players since the tournament format
was introduced, surpassed only by Wohlfield and Peddie (75.4 in
Hope golfers who earned All-MIAA second team recognition are
sophomore Chris Rutan of Ann Arbor (Pioneer HS) who was ninth in
the standings (77.4) and sophomore Andy Nietring of East Grand
Rapids who was 11th (78.5). Rutan's average ranks as the tenth
best by Hope golfer in MIAA tournament play.
Junior Ben Fellows of DeWitt (Lansing Eastern HS) ranked
14th (79.2) in the league field.