Golf Team Prepares for Defense of Conference Championship Crown
OFFICIAL UMAC PRESS RELEASE
BREEZY POINT, Minn. – Six Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) teams will compete this weekend at the 2012 UMAC Men's Golf Championships at Deacon's Lodge Golf Course in Breezy Point, Minnesota. The three-day tournament taking place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, will determine the conference's representative to the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship.
Three-time defending UMAC Champion, the North Central University Rams will look to again defend their title. The Rams who average a 328.3 team score per contest, finished second at the UMAC Preview tournament also played at Deacon's Lodge and first at the Northwestern Invitational this season. They are led by freshman Brady Ohman and who currently ranks first in the UMAC with his 77.8 per 18-holes average on the season.
In order for North Central to repeat as UMAC Champions, they will have to outshoot a tough, competitive field of UMAC teams also in the hunt for the title. After taking first in the UMAC Preview tournament earlier this fall, the University of Minnesota Morris looks to be a top contender for the trophy. In addition to finishing first at the UMAC Preview tournament earlier this fall, the University of Minnesota Morris finished second at both North Central Invite and their home Cougar Invite. The Cougars have shot an average of 326.2 as a team so far this season and are led by three-time UMAC All-Conference performer Derek Dionne whose average of 78 strokes per 18-holes has him tied for second in the UMAC.
Bethany Lutheran College took third in the UMAC Preview, but the Vikings have turned in consistently impressive performances this fall and currently sit first in the UMAC team standings with a season average of 320.1. The Vikings finished first at the North Central Invite as well as the Minnesota River Valley Invitational this season and are anchored by freshmen Josh Willis and Austin Snow who average 79.0 and 79.6 respectively on the season.
Northwestern College finished the fourth at the UMAC Preview and looks to improve on that performance at the Championship. The Eagles finished first at the Bethany Lutheran Viking Invitational this fall behind the solid play of junior Tyler Melton who shot a 79 at the event. Junior two-time UMAC All-Conference performer Daniel Horner leads the Northwestern this season with an 18-hole average score of 81.9. The Eagles average a 332.4 team score per contest on the season.
At the UMAC Preview, Crown College finished in fifth place and hopes to better that finish at the UMAC Championship behind the play of freshman Reed Sorenson. Sorenson's best performance of the season came at the Bethany Lutheran Viking Invitational where he shot two under per and turned in a score of 70, which earned him medalist honors.
Martin Luther College rounded out the field at the UMAC Preview, but has shaved nearly 15 strokes of their team score average since that time. The team's top performance of the season came at the Crown Dual earlier this season where they earned a score of 352.
The six UMAC teams will tee off at 11:02 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The winner of the UMAC Men's Golf Championship will represent the conference at the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship May 14 – 17 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla.