October 9, 2014 | 3 p.m.
By Jared Johnson, Sports Information Director
The Bethel University men's golf team claimed their first conference title in program history on October 6 by shooting a 297 in the final round of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Championships at the par-72, 6,877-yard Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The Royals held a three-stroke lead heading into the final day and held on to win by six strokes over the closest competitor thanks to 12 birdies throughout the final day of play. Bethel's 297 tied for the lowest round all weekend and their 906 throughout the three days sets a record for lowest total among any previous golf team at Bethel.
Three members of the Bethel squad finished among the All-Conference squad, which required that players finish the tournament in the Top 10. Dillon John ’16 and Bennett Smed ’16 tied for fourth place throughout the 54 holes played with a three-day total of 225 strokes. Coincidentally, their scores were almost identical, as each shot a 76 on October 4, and the two flip-flopped a 74 and 75 the next two days. John tallied four birdies on October 6, while Smed finished with three.
Alex Case ’17 tied for eighth among the 50 golfers competing, carding a 228 throughout the weekend. Case recorded a 78 on October 4, followed by a pair of 75's on October 5 and 6.
Case's teammate Grant Exsted ’17 shook off an 83 on October 4 by shooting a 78 on October 5 and a team-low 73 on October 6 to help the Royals take the crown. Exsted finished with a 234 throughout the tourney. AJ Oster ’17 tallied an 81 October 6, giving him a final score of 237 throughout the weekend. All five players were among the top 26 or higher.
With the MIAC Championship, Bethel men's golf will receive an automatic qualification to the 2015 NCAA Championships held in May at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.