The victorious Lynn Men's golf team (Lynn University photo)
MUSCLE SHOALS, AL (May 25, 2018) - Lynn University's fourth-ranked men's golf team had been in this familiar situation all too many times, four to be exact, but this time Carlos Bustos sank the winning putt on the 18th green to beat top-ranked West Florida 3-2 and secure the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship. The NCAA title is the first for the men's golf program, and second overall following an NAIA crown in 1996. Lynn has now won 24 national championships in school history.
The Fighting Knights had previously finished runner-up in 2017, 2015, 2013 and 2011, with the first runner-up finish coming on the same golf course they would win on today, the Robert Trent Jones at the Shoals Fighting Joe course.
A day earlier, Bustos knocked-off First Team All-American Jorge Garcia but on this day, the sophomore out of Santiago, Chile, went toe-to-toe and beat three-time First Team All-American and 2017 National Player of the Year Chandler Blanchet. Trailing by as many as three, Bustos took a one-shot lead on the 17th green with a birdie and watched as Blanchet bogeyed 18 to give Lynn the title.
INSIDE THE TOURNAMENT:
Finals: Lynn def. West Florida 3-2-0
Location: Robert Trent Jones at the Shoals – Fighting Joe Course | Muscle Shoals, Ala.
History at Event: Sixth consecutive national championship appearance; 12th overall (Finished runner-up at RTJ – the Shoals in 2011).
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Jorge Villar led off for Blue and White and engaged in a back-and-forth battle with West Florida's Carlos Marrero but trouble brewed over the final three holes to give the Argonauts the point.
- Toto Gana extended his match play mastery by securing Lynn's first point of the day. Leading by as many as six shots, the Chilean saw his lead shrink to two by the 15th hole but he picked up a stroke on No. 16 and went to the clubhouse with a 70 and three-stroke victory.
- Felix Kvarnstrom was all square with Henry Westmoreland for the first third of the day until Westmoreland claimed strokes on three consecutive holes and never looked back, putting UWF ahead 2-1.
- Senior All-American Manuel Torres knotted the match at 2-2-0 at the fourth position. He posted a five-under par 66 to win by three shots ahead of Jacob Huizinga. He led by just two heading into No. 17 and was putting for a long birdie while Huizinga could have brought the deficit to one with a 10-foot birdie putt but Huizinga missed his attempt and Torres added to his lead on No. 18.
- Bustos was locked into an epic showdown with Blanchet. Going down by three shots after four holes, Bustos saw a chink in the Argo's top player's armor on the ninth hole when he birdied and Blanchet bogeyed, putting the match all square. A tremendous birdie on the No. 13 par 3 tied the match once again until Bustos' heroics on No. 17.
VanDerLaan wins the Individual Title
John VanDerLaan of Florida Southern went wire-to-wire to win the individual competition by four shots. VanDerLaan fired rounds of 66-68-65 for an impressive 17-under 199 total, four shots ahead of Jorge Garcia of Barry.
ABOUT THE NCAA Division II Championship
The National Championship of championship of
men's college golf teams. From its inception through
2010, it was a 72-hole stroke play team
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
View Complete Tournament Information