Men’s golf advances to national tournament

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

The men’s golf team qualified for their second national tournament berth in three years and in school history. The men’s golf team hosted the second and third rounds of the MIAA’s national tournament automatic qualifiers.

The men had won the fall’s MIAA tournament, giving them the honor of hosting two rounds of the national qualifier. The men scored a 304 in the first round at Hope’s Wuskowhan Players Club, a seven-stroke advantage over Hope, nine strokes over Adrian and 14 over Trine.

Calvin’s original days of hosting were postponed to later days due to the copious amounts of rain. On Calvin’s first day of hosting, Trine made up six points of their deficit. They scored a 323, Calvin a 329, Adrian 332 and Hope 336.

Calvin’s top finisher was sophomore James Van Noord, who recorded an 80 for second place. He was behind Nolan Eli of Trine who scored a 78. Senior Dave Sarkipato scored an 82 for fifth place and junior Jake Hoogstrate recorded an 83 for ninth place. Senior Ben Kuiper and junior Mark Allen both shot 84 to be tied for 13th.

After two rounds, Calvin maintained the lead with 633, followed by Trine with 641, Adrian with 645, and Hope with 647.

The next day, Calvin hosted again at Watermark Country Club. Sarkipato was the medalist for the day with 76 strokes. Kuiper and Van Noord tied for fifth with 79 points. Allen recorded an 89 for 18th place and Hoogstrate a 91 for 19th.

Calvin scored a 323 on the day. Adrian won with 316, Hope came in second with 321, then Calvin then Trine with 326. Calvin won the three round tournament with a score of 956, Adrian came in second with 961, followed by Trine with 965 and Hope came in last with 968.

With this win, Calvin qualifies for the national tournament in Destin, Florida from May 17-21. This comes on the heels of the Knights winning their second conference title in the team’s history and in three years. Calvin also qualified for the national title tournament that year.

Sarkipato took first individually for the spring by seven strokes. VanNoord and Kuiper tied for third individually out of a field of twenty.

“For starters, golf is extremely difficult because we started in early August and won the league in early October. Then we waited all the way until late April to play the four team qualifier for nationals. It was a long wait,” commented Sarkipato.

“Saying that, I am extremely proud of how we have handled the cold and wet conditions all spring. It is physically and mentally draining to play a pressure-filled five-hour round on consecutive days, but our team showed resiliency as we have all year.”

“As for nationals, I am overwhelmed with the task of rescheduling my exams!” Sarkipato quipped. “Golf-wise, I think Ben and I will be able to relay some helpful information to the younger players as this is our second trip to the NCAAs.”

“Lastly, it is humbling to be the first to do something. Calvin went 70 or 80 years without a league championship and a trip to nationals. Now being apart of the first two, I want to start to put Calvin on the map and build a tradition of excellence in the classroom and on the course.”