- Arkansas Tech men's golf photo
The NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship, held this week on the Champion Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., featured two first-time national champions as Arkansas Tech earned the match play title and University of Indianapolis’ Keegan Bronnenberg captured the medalist honors in stroke play.
Following victories over No. 7 seed Central Missouri and No. 3 seed West Florida, the No. 2 seeded Wonder Boys defeated fourth-seed Georgia Southwestern in the “Medal Match” format by a final score of 3-2 to claim the national championship on Friday.
In Match No. 1 of the final Championship round, Arkansas Tech’s Francois Jacobs surged to an early four-stroke lead through five holes over Saksit Jairak. While Jairak, a 2020 second-team All-American, was able to claw back and cut the deficit to one stroke following the 10th hole, Jacobs, a Division II third-team All-American during the 2019-2020 shortened campaign, maintained his lead on the returning nine to give the first match point to the Wonder Boys, by a winning margin of nine strokes.
The Hurricanes were able to retake the overall lead with victories in the second and third matches, with near wire-to-wire victories by GSW junior Chase McLain, who finished three strokes clear of ATU’s Austin Geane, and freshman Jack Tharrington, who defeated Wonder Boy freshman Santiago De La Fuente by nine strokes.
Arkansas Tech evened the overall scoring in Match No. 4, as freshman Henry Frizzell defeated the Hurricanes’ Simon Estrada by nine strokes, setting up drama in the final match, contested between ATU sophomore Andre Jacobs and GSW graduate student Jaxson Daskalos.
Daskalos built a three-stroke advantage through the first three holes over Jacobs but a triple bogey by Daskalos on the par 4 eighth hole brought the match back to all square.
Daskalos rebuilt a small lead on holes 10 and 11, but fell victim to the Champion Course’s infamous “Bear Trap” of holes 15, 16, and 17. After making a double bogey on the 15th, Daskalos saw his one-stroke lead turn into a one-stroke deficit. A par for Daskalos on the Par 4 16th, while Jacobs carded a bogey, squared the match again with two holes to play.
After Jacobs birdied the par 3 17th and Daskalos bogeyed, Arkansas Tech took a two-shot lead into the 18th hole. The final margin proved to be in Jacobs’ favor, as he won the deciding match by a single stroke, giving Arkansas Tech their first-ever National Championship in any men’s sport.
The Division II individual stroke play medalist was Indianapolis’ Keegan Bronnenberg, who finished the 54-hole stroke play portion of the Championship at four over par, two strokes clear of West Florida’s Felipe Garces Garzon, Washburn’s Andrew Beckler, Lee University’s Oliver Lewis-Perkins, and his UIndy teammate Erik Edwards.
Bronnenberg, a transfer from Ball State University, overcame a first round 76 (+4) with a second round 69 (-3), the lone round in the 60s of 252 cumulative stroke play rounds played by the 84-golfer field. Entering the final round, Bronnenberg was tied for the lead with Lewis-Perkins at one over par, and carded a final round 75 (+3) to take medalist honors.
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
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