posted May 1, 2006

Hope Golfers Headed to NCAA Tournament

Hope's MIAA champion Flying Dutchmen have received a bid to compete in the NCAA Division III men's golf championships to be held May 8-11 in Lincoln, Neb.

Coach Bob Ebels' Dutchmen will competing as a team in the national tournament for the first time since 2000 and the fourth time in school history.

The four-day 72-hole tournament will be played at the Firethorn Golf Club and will be hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan University.  The field will include 120 golfers representing 23 teams as well of five individual invitees.  Hope is one of three teams invited from the Great Lakes region.  The others are Otterbein, Ohio and Ohio Wesleyan.

Players who will be competing include junior captain Nate Golomb of Schoolcraft, Mich. (Schoolcraft HS); sophomore Matt Lapham of Brighton, Mich. (Brighton HS); sophomore Steve Martindale of Midland, Mich. (H.H. Dow HS); sophomore Ryan Sheets of Saline, Mich. (Saline HS); and sophomore Tommy Yamaoka of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland East HS).

The Flying Dutchmen won the MIAA championship for the third consecutive year and for the sixth time in seven years.  The five players headed to nationals all achieved All-MIAA honors based on seasonal stroke average. Achieving All-MIAA first team honors were Tommy Yamaoka, 72.3; Matt Lapham, 74.1; and Ryan Sheets, 75.0. Yamaoka and Lapham were honored for the second consecutive year. Receiving All-MIAA second team honors were Nate Golomb, 76.5, and Steve Martindale, 76.5.

Hope finished 17th in each of their previous national tournament appearances -- 1987, 1988 and 2000.