posted May 2, 2008

Flying Dutchmen Headed to Golf Nationals

The MIAA champion Flying Dutchmen will begin play in the NCAA Division III golf championships on Tuesday, May 13.

The four-day, 72-hole tournament will be played on two courses at the Chateau Elan Resort in Braselton, Ga. which is approximately 40 miles north of Atlanta.

Tournament website
http://www.gcvb.org/ncaagolf/index.html

The tournament field will consist of 35 teams and five individual qualifiers.  The field will be cut to 24 teams after 36 holes of competition.

The Flying Dutchmen have qualified as champions of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).  Hope will be making their sixth appearance in the national tournament, the fifth since 2000.  A year ago the team finished 18th after four consecutive 17th place finishes (1987, 1988, 2000 and 2006).

Hope's national roster will include junior Don Kring of Williamsburg (St. Francis HS), senior Matt Lapham of Brighton (Brighton HS), senior Steve Martindale of Midland (H.H. Dow HS), senior Ryan Sheets of Saline (Saline HS) and senior Tommy Yamaoka of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS).

Lapham, Martindale, Sheets and Yamaoka will be competing at the national tournament for a third consecutive year.  A year ago Yamaoka achieved All-America distinction by placing 15th in the 185-player field. His average of 76.5 strokes per-round was the best-ever by a Hope golfer at nationals.  He had tournament rounds of 77-75-78-76,  Yamaoka, who was the national freshman of the year in 2005, was voted to 2007 Ping All-America second team.

Scores of other Hope golfers at the 2007 nationals were: Steve Martindale, 96th place (84-86-77-79); Ryan Sheets, 102nd place (86-85-81-76); and Matt Lapham, 115th place (83-81-85-86).