Rocky Mountain College men place 7th at national tourney

(Editor’s note: RMC Athletics release)

MESA, Ariz. – The Battlin’ Bears finished the 2019 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship in seventh place Friday. It is the highest finish for the men’s golf team at the championship in the history of Rocky Mountain College.

“Very proud of this group and all they have accomplished this week and this season,” said head men’s golf coach Aaron Pohle. ” They showed a lot of resilience today and bounced back with another highly competitive round.”

The Battlin’ Bears finished at 56-over-par 1192. The team posted a 296-294-308-294-1192 with 172 pars, 57 birdies, and three eagles.

Sophomore Mitchell Thiessen finished tied individually for 29th at 12-over-par 296. He posted a final round of two over-par with three birdies. Thiessen tied third in the tournament for par-4 scoring at three-over-par. He finished tournament with 41 pars and 10 birdies.

Colton Murphy finished tied for 33rd with an overall score of 14-over-par 298. Shooting three over-par, Murphy finished the final round strong with three birdies in the back nine. The senior posted 36 pars and 11 birdies through the tournament.

Reece Nilsen finished tied for 44 at 18-over-par 302. Shooting four birdies in the front nine, the sophomore jumped up 10 spots in the leaderboard with final round of one over-par. Nilsen finished the tournament with 30 pars, 11 birdies, and two eagles.

“Our underclassmen showed a lot of maturity and toughness out there this week,” said Pohle.

Finishing tied for 48th. Michael Tait ended the national championship at 20-over-par 304. Tait shot five birdies in a final round of four over-par. The senior led the field of golfers in par-3 scoring at three under-par. He finished with 33 pars, 15 birdies, and one eagle.

HoTae Kim tied for 79th at 34-over-par 318. Shooting a fourth round of 13 over-par, the senior ended the entire tournament with a total of 32 pars and 10 birdies.

Tait, Murphy, and Nilsen end the season selected to the NAIA PING All-Region West Team by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

The tournament was the last competition for Tait, Murphy, and Kim as they graduated from Rocky Mountain College this spring. Murphy leaves the program with highest individual finish of any men’s golfer at NAIA nationals with 14th in 2018.

“Today was bittersweet as three of our players played their last collegiate rounds,” said Pohle. “This was a special group that set numerous records together and left an everlasting impression that will continue to help build our program for many years to come.”

Texas Wesleyan was named the 2019 NAIA Men’s Golf National Champion at 30-over-par-1166. Taylor University’s Alec Dutkowski, British Columbia’s Logan Carver, and Coastal Georgia’s Mark Johnson tied for first at two-over-par 286. Johnson won the championship and individual medalist honors in a playoff hole.

Scott Breen

Scott Breen

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