Dominance is the only word that can describe the North Dakota State University men’s golf team’s win at the NDSU Fall Invitational at the Oxbow Country Club in Oxbow, N.D.
The Herd shot a team record 19 under-par 557 over two rounds, beating the closest team by 31 strokes. The Sept. 7 victory wrapped up the team’s lone home tournament of the season.
NDSU had six golfers earn Top 10 spots and five on the top of the leaderboard.
“It is hard to follow up a really good round with another really good round,” said NDSU head coach, Steve Kennedy, on the team’s performance. “I was pleased with how we finished.”
It was a career tournament for Nate Deziel and Ian Simonich. The pair will have to share the No. 1 honors with both players bolstering six-under 138s in the tournament.
Simonich told The Spectrum the tie with Deziel was especially memorable, considering how tight-knit the two have become after spending the summer together working at the Moorhead Country Club.
“We’ve played around 30 rounds of golf this summer together,” Simonich said. “It’s kind of fitting that it comes down to the both of us here in Fargo.”
The shared win was Simonich’s first of his Bison career, since joining the team last year. He shot a pair of three-under 69s in the tournament to earn him a top spot.
“It is (my) first college win you could kind of say,” Simonich said. “So, to follow my 69 with another 69 was very good. I am very proud of myself.”
Lone senior Deziel continued to be a team leader on the course in the home tournament. He opened up the tournament by tying a course record and individual team record, shooting a bogey-free, 64, with eight birdies.
“I have never had a bogey-free round so that was awesome,” Deziel said.
Deziel said it meant a lot to have a solid performance coming off of his tie for 45th in the Island Resort Intercollegiate on Sept. 4-5. He has been working with multiple coaches on refining his game.
“I felt extremely pleased…I was in a way better mental space,” Deziel said. “I felt like I have been pretty relaxed. I just saw the shots I was trying to hit, and I was in a really good mindset.”
Outside of the shared win, it was a successful tournament for other NDSU golfers.
“These guys coming off of the summer, their games are in really top-shape right now,” Kennedy said.
Junior Brock Winter golfed individually in the tournament, shooting four-under 140 earning him third place. Winter hit a 71 in the first and 69 in the second round.
Gavin Cronkhite nabbed fourth place, shooting a two-under 142. The sophomore had his best round in the first with 69 strokes and hit a 73 in the final round. ‘
Nate Adams tied for fifth place with an even 144. Adams started the tournament shooting a three-over 75 but improved his score in the next round shooting a 69 to even his scorecard.
Junior Jack Johnson’s three-over-par 147 secured him an eighth-place bid. Johnson, who also golfed individually in this tournament, remained consistent with a 74 and 73. In the first round, he holed out from 67-yards out on the first hole for an eagle.
The newest member of the team, freshman Jake Skarperud, got his feet wet playing in his first tournament of the season. Skarperud tied for 14th with a seven-over 151; he also played as an individual.
Josh Galvin, a sophomore, had a costly ten-over 82 in the second round, hindering his first-round score of a 69. Galvin tied for 19th with an eight over-par 152.
The Bison play next in the Zach Johnson Invitational on Monday, Sept. 26, and Tuesday, Sept. 27 at Glen Oaks Country Club in Des Moines, Iowa.
“Our team is really good this year and I am excited with what we have,” Simonich said. “We are really pushing each other.”