NATIONAL CHAMPS! NSU Wins First Men's Golf Title
Nova Southeastern captured its first NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship on Saturday at the Cardinal Club Golf Course Louisville, Ky. In a five-day, six-round tournament, the Sharks defeated Chico State in a head-to-head final match with a clean sweep, 5-0 score.
In a five-day tournament that started Tuesday, May 15, the Sharks finished the first three rounds second overall, making the eight-team cut to advance to head-to-head match play, which began on Friday. The Sharks battled through 36 holes Friday, defeating South Carolina-Aiken in the quarterfinals 4-1 before defeating Central Oklahoma in the semifinal round by way of the total strokes tie-breaker to advance to the national final against Chico State.
"Winning the first championship in the men's golf program's history is special,” said Director of Athletics Michael Mominey. “Garrett Runion has done a tremendous job in just his first year as the head coach. The players are really the ones who have to get the credit, as the men had a tremendous run winning the Sunshine State Conference Championship on the way to this national championship. The grind of this particular championship says a lot about the character and the talent of this particular team."
Leading the charge for the Sharks was Mitch Farrer, who had a stand-alone blowout performance, defeating the Wildcats’ Chris Doyle by eight strokes. He shot a two-under 70 with four birdies and 12 pars. Farrer notched NSU’s first point in the 5-0 victory.
“I remained patient all day,” said Farrer. “I made the shots that I needed to and it was flawless golf for me. We prepared all year for this day, and it was just a brilliant performance by the whole team. Everyone did their part.”
Recording the second point for the Sharks was the fourth seed, senior Ben Vertz, who shot a final-round one-over 73 to defeat Chico State’s Bobby Bucey by one stroke. Vertz carded five birdies along with eight pars in the championship round.
Ricardo Celia proved to be the final point needed to claim the Sharks' first national title, defeating Kevin Rei by one stroke. Celia carded an even-par 72 in the final round. He had five birdies and 10 total pars in his final round of play.
Continuing the Sharks dominance, Oscar Lengdèn claimed a fourth point, shooting a one-under 69 in the final round to defeat Kyle Souza by two strokes. Lengden’s final round consisted of four birdies, 13 pars and only one bogey.
Finalizing the sweep was Ben Taylor, who had an outstanding performance throughout the entire tournament playing as the Sharks No. 1. Taylor downed his opponent, Eric Frazzetta, by one stroke. He card a final even- round 72. Taylor chalked up five birdies in his round, along with nine pars.
Saturday marked the first time in the 24-year history of the NSU men’s golf program that the Sharks can call themselves national champions. This season marked the eighth year in which the Sharks participated in NCAA postseason competition.