NDSU finishes fourth in busy championship
For the umpteenth time this spring, Mother Nature forced a change of schedule for NDSU athletics. For the first time this spring, it affected the men’s golf team.
Rain in the forecast in Newton, Kansas saw play at the Sand Creek Station Golf Course get moved up for two rounds of play on Monday to conclude the Summit League Championship.
The change of schedule did little to change the play of junior Andrew Israelson. After a solid opening round of 73 that featured four birdies, the Staples, Minnesota native fired himself into the crowd at the top of the leaderboard.
An even-par 72 followed on the first trip around the course Monday, leaving him three shots off the lead held by teammate Nate Deziel. A single birdie highlighted the final 18 holes for Israelson and was able to get to the top of the leaderboard. Unfortunately for the Bison leader, three players joined him at the top.
Denver’s Cal McCoy emerged from the first playoff hole with a birdie to gain medalist honors. For Israelson, it was consecutive years making the All-Tournament team for finishing in the top-five.
While Israelson coolly navigated Sand Creek Station, and with rain in the forecast, the freshman Deziel decided to light the course on fire in the second round. Following an opening round 75, the East Grand Forks, Minnesota native tallied six birdies in round two.
Those birdies were part of a round that scored 67, the lowest score of any round of the tournament. The 67 was also a career best for Deziel and the lowest score of a Bison this season.
Unfortunately, Deziel could not replicate that performance in the third round. A 79 dropped the freshman into a tie for sixth at the end of the tournament.
Two Bison took similar paths into the top 20. Van Holmgren shot a 75 on the opening day and followed up with scores of 78 and 72 on the second day.
Lucas Johnson shot back-to-back rounds of 77 before carding a one-under 71 on the final round. The pair finished nine-over par in a tie for 18th.
Will Holmgren carded three rounds in the low 80s to finish in a tie for 34th.
The Bison as a team moved up a pair of spots on the team leaderboard that was very crowded after the opening round. NDSU sat sixth after the first 18 holes, but were just 10 shots off the lead. A solid second day saw the Bison move up into a tie for fourth with Oral Roberts.
The Bison finished 16 shots off the winners Denver. The Pioneers had just a single round over 77 in rounds two and three combined.