Nova Southeastern beats Chico State to win NCAA Div II National Championship
-- photo Nova Southeastern Athletics
-- photo Nova Southeastern Athletics

SIMPSONVILLE, Kentucky (May 19, 2012) --The No. 1 Nova Southeastern men’s golf team captured their first NCAA National Championship Title Saturday, May 19 at the par-72 Cardinal Club Golf Course in a five-day six-round tournament, defeating Chico State in a head-to-head final match with a clean sweep, 5-to-0 score.

In a five-day tournament which 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 Friday, May 18. The Sharks battled through 36-holes Friday, defeating South Carolina-Aiken in the quarterfinals 4-to-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 champion says a lot about the character and the talent of this particular team."

"This is an unbelievable feeling to be a part of the first men's National Championship at Nova Southeastern, said first year head coach Garrett Runion. "Our guys set this goal at the beginning of the season and never stopped believing they could win it. All five of my guys deserve a game ball because everyone contributed in a huge way this week."

Leading the charge for the Sharks was No. 5 seed Mitch Farrer (So., West Sussex, England), who had a stand-alone blowout performance, defeating the Wildcats’ Chris Doyle by eight strokes, shooting a -2 70 with four birdies and 12 pars. Farrer notched NSU’s first point in the 5-to-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 (Coral Springs, Fla.), who shot a final round +1 73, defeating Chico State’s Bobby Bucey by one stroke. Vertz carded five birdies along with eight pars in the Championship round.

No. 9 Ricardo Celia (So., Barranquilla, Columbia) proved to be the final point needed to claim the Sharks first National Title, defeating Kevin Rei by one stroke, shooting an even par 72 on the final round. Celia had five birdies and 10 total pars in his final round of play.

Continuing the Sharks dominance, No. 17 Oscar Lengdèn (Fr., Heisingborg, Sweden) claimed a fourth point, shooting a one-under 69 in the final round defeating Kyle Souza by two strokes. Lengden’s final round consisted of four birdies, 13 pars and only one bogey.

Finalizing the clean 5-to-0 Final sweep was No. 1 Benjamin Taylor (So., Leatherhead, England), who had an outstanding performance throughout the entire tournament playing as the Sharks No. 1, defeated his opponent, Eric Frazzetta by one stroke, carding a final even round 72. Taylor chalked up five birdies in his round along with nine pars.

Today marks 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.

ABOUT THE NCAA Division II Championship

The National Championship of championship of NCAA Division II men's college golf teams. From its inception through 2010, it was a 72-hole stroke play team competition, with an additional award for the lowest scoring individual competitor. The team format changed starting in 2011 to 54 holes of stroke play followed by an eight-team single elimination medal match play competition. The 54-hole individual leader is the individual champion.

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