No. 3 Express Golf Headed To Nationals After Dominating Region XII TournamentMay 14, 2013
By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Box score - here
Battle Creek, MI---The No. 3 Express men's golf team breezed through the competition at the two-day, 72 hole Region XII golf tournament to qualify for a trip to the NJCAA D-II National Tournament.
They remain undefeated against NJCAA competition since the beginning of the fall season.
The Express shot a team score of 299-288-297 to finish with an 884, which was 32 shots better than second place Muskegon Community College, who also qualified for nationals.
Grand Rapids Community College (924), Columbus State Community College (925) and Jackson Community College (926) rounded out the top five. The tournament consisted of 10 teams.
Brandon Hoelzer (75-69-75) and Walter Dorosh (72-73-73) both tied at 218 through 72 holes, which put them tied for first place. Following a one hole playoff, in which Hoelzer picked up a birdie, the tie was broken.
Aside from those two, three other Express golfers finished in the top eight. Blaze Hogan shot a 77-73-75 (224) for sixth place, Luke Bergershot a 76-77-74 (227) for seventh place and Darren Gessner shot a 78-73-78 (229) for eighth place.
Muskegon's Caleb Johnson shot 74-73-73 for a 220 and third place, while Ash Alstadt of Columbus State (77-73-72, 222) and Nolan Maezes of Jackson (77-73-74, 224) finished third-fifth.
Timothy Dawkins shot an 80-78-78 for a two-day total of 236 to finish tied for 21st place.
After Owens and Muskegon qualified as teams, the top five individuals not on those teams also qualified for nationals. Those players were Alstadt, Maezes, Kory Roberts of Grand Rapids Community College, Jon Walraven of Mott Community College and Gabe Schiller of Mott Community College. Walraven and Schiller won a two-hole playoff with Jackson's Connor Talbert to earn the final two spots.
The tournament was held at Bedford Valley Golf Course, with a par of 72. While 10 teams participated, 64 individuals also played.
Hoelzer, Dorosh, Gessner, Berger and Hogan were named to the All-Region XII team due to their performance in the tournament. Additionally, Hoelzer's tiebreaker victory over his teammate Dorosh earned him Region XII Player of the Year honors.
The win marks the first Region XII tournament championship for the Express since the inception of the program in 2005-06. Additionally, it is the first time a team from the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) has won the tourney.
The win also marks the third trip to the national tournament for the Express as a team. They finished 14th in 2006 and 10th in 2008 after second place finishes at the Region XII tournament.
The team also finished second in the Region XII tournament in 2010, but only one team qualified for nationals that year due to a lower number of participating teams.
The national tournament will be held May 21-24 at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course in Scottsboro, Alabama.
As an athletic department, the Express have now had four of their eight teams qualify for the NJCAA National Tournament. The women's volleyball team finished fourth, the men's basketball team finished fourth and the women's basketball team finished seventh. Of the other teams, the Express women's soccer team finished one win away from nationals, and the Express softball team lost in the Region XII championship game.