Will play in Stockton (CA) Regional May 16-18
Nate Deziel, the first Bison golfer to win the Summit League Individual Golf Championship, was placed in the Stockton (CA) Golf Regional the NCAA announced today. Deziel, the junior from East Grand Forks, Minn., will play the 7082-yard, par 72, Reserve at Spanos Park Golf Course in Stockton, Calif. on May 16–18.
As the reigning Summit League Champion, Deziel automatically qualified for the NCAA Regional, but must earn his way into the NCAA’s national tournament via the regional route. The NCAA National Golf Championships will be held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., from May 27-June 1, 2022.
Deziel is one of five individual golfers added to the Stockton Regional by the NCAA. Deziel must finish as the low scorer among those five and any individual from a team that did not qualify to advance to the national championship tournament.
In a press conference held after Deziel’s return from the Summit League Championships, Deziel talked about what it will feel like teeing off in an NCAA Regional for the first time. “I’m definitely going to have some adrenaline, so I think the ball is going to go a little further,” said Deziel. “Gonna’ make sure I stay loose, but it’s just going to be awesome seeing a bunch of new teams, I’m just going to go out there and represent.” Deziel reflected on playing as an individual and not having his Bison teammates with him. “I’m just going to go back to the basics,” said Deziel. “I’m just going to play my game and have fun, talk to Coach [NDSU Head Coach Steve Kennedy], and enjoy the moment.”
Kennedy, for his part, spoke highly of Deziel and what he means to the NDSU golf program. “I’m so proud. Nate had a heck of a journey this year. Before our first tournament [fall], Nate blew out his knee in the weight room and we didn’t even know if he was going to play golf this year,” said Kennedy. “Then he came out this spring and started out firing a couple of subpar rounds in the 60s and then this last tournament, it was fun to watch him.”
According to coach Kennedy, Deziel is a model to the other golfers. “Nate is the type of kid that every coach wants,” said Kennedy. “He is a team player. He wants the team to do well. I think all of our guys feel the same way. Yesterday, when he walked off that green, we kind of smiled at each other a little bit, but we were sad too. It’s sad knowing we won’t be going as a team, but I am so proud of him and his individual accomplishments.”
Deziel, too, expressed remorse at the Bison finishing one stroke behind the league champion Denver Pioneers. “It was bittersweet. I think I was more upset in the moment after the finish,” said Deziel. “I was in between mixed feelings from joy for winning, because it is my first win, and seeing my guys there and coming up one shot short. It still, right now, it’s still unfortunate and really sucks.”