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Athletics

SJU golf team set for Division III national meet

For the 20th time since 2000, the Saint John’s University golf team is back at the NCAA Division III national meet.

Thanks to earning the MIAC’s automatic bid at the conference championships last October, the Johnnies qualified for this year’s competition, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday (May 16) and run through Friday (May 19) at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky — home of the PGA’s Barbasol Championship.

SJU is one of 43 teams in the field. After the first two days, that group will be trimmed the top 18 teams and the top six individuals who are not a member of those squads. This marks the sixth consecutive national appearance (there was no national meet in 2020 due to COVID-19) for the Johnnies, who also won Division III national titles in 2007 and 2008.

Head coach Bob Alpers and his team enter the national meet ranked No. 14 in the most recent Bushnell/Golfweek Division III coaches poll. Emory (Georgia), which has won all four of their stroke-play events this spring, is ranked No. 1. Defending national champion Methodist (North Carolina) is ranked No. 3. 

“I don’t think there’s a clear-cut No. 1 team going into this,” said Alpers, who returned this season after taking a one-year hiatus to focus on his duties as the school’s athletic director. “There are a lot of really good teams out there and I think it’s pretty even. If we play the way we’re capable of playing, I believe we can compete with anyone.”

For further coverage on SJU’s trip to the national meet, check out gojohnnies.com.

Thomas Gutzmer

SJU senior Thomas Gutzmer (above) and his teammates will compete at this week’s NCAA Division III national meet. (Image courtesy of Libby Auger)