Hope sophomore Justin Spyker has captured MIAA medalist honors in men's golf in a most unusual way.
The season's final conference tournament was held at Hope's home course. Spyker entered the tournament in second place in the player standings needing to finish what appeared to be an insurmountable seven strokes better than league leader Scott Miller of Olivet.
But he did just that, shooting a 73 under ideal conditions at the Wuskowhan Players Club. Miller, meanwhile, toured the course in 80.
That put Spyker at an average of 75.28 strokes over the season's tournamnents while Miller ended at 75.33.
Spyker, a graduate of Portage (Mich.) Central High School, accomplished the fete without finishing first in any of the season's seven tournaments. Instead he was a picture of consistency, shooting in the 70s every round.
It marks the fifth consecutive year that a Hope golfer is the MIAA medalist. He is the school's tenth conference medalist and his season average ranks fourth alltime among Hope golfers.
Olivet dethroned the Flying Dutchmen as conference champions, winning by 29 strokes.
Thursday's season-ending tournament was won by Alma at 301 strokes followed by Olivet 307, Hope 309, Albion and Calvin 312, Adrian 321 and Kalamazoo 348. The individual winner was Mike Dinner of Olivet at 71.
Spyker was Hope's only All-MIAA first team player. Achieving All-MIAA second team honors were freshman Alden Hoksbergen of Holland who was ninth in the player standings (78.1) and sophomore Ryan Shedd of Coldwater who ranked 11th (78.4).