HERSHEY, Pa. -- Unheralded on a national level throughout the season, the Hope College men's golf team will go into the record book as the most successful in school history.
Coach Bob Ebels' Flying Dutchmen have finished in the top ten of the NCAA Division III championships for the first time with three golfers posting the best cumulative tournament rounds in this national competition. The MIAA champion Flying Dutchmen entered the tournament unranked in the Golf World/NIKE Golf Division III Coaches’ Poll.
The four-day, 72-hole tournament concluded Friday in Hershey, Pa. Perennial power Methodist, N.C. led the 37-team field at 1,177 strokes. Hope ended in a tie for ninth place with Skidmore, N.Y. at 1,206 strokes. Hope previous best at the NCAA tournament was 17th place on four different occasions.
Three Flying Dutchmen averaged within a stroke of one another and all three surpassed the previous best by a Hope golfer at nationals. Senior captain Steven Strock (Grandville, Mich./Grandville HS) averaged 74.25 strokes over the four rounds. Junior Chris Ansel (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East HS) averaged 74.75 strokes and freshman Charles Olson (Suttons Bay, Mich./Suttons Bay) averaged 75.25. The previous best average was 76.5 strokes on two occasions by Tommy Yamaoka (2007 and 2008).
Strock finished in a tie for 20th place among the 120 golfers while Ansel finished 27th, Olson 35th, and sophomore Andy Thomson (Beaver Dam, Wisc./Central Wisconsin Christian HS) 100th (79.5).
Sophomore Nicholas Campbell (Saline, Mich./Saline HS) averaged 76.0 strokes over three rounds. The tournament medalist was Tain Lee of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Calif with an average of 70.0.