SJU wins 2007 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf National Championship
May 18, 2007
FISHERS, Ind. – Saint John’s University won its first NCAA Division III Men’s Golf National Championship with a four-round total of 1,204 (+52) at Hawthorns Golf and Country Club in Fishers, Ind. The national title is the school’s fifth overall and first outside of football (NAIA: 1963 and 1965; NCAA: 1976 and 2003).
Junior Clinton Dammann (Glencoe, Minn./Glencoe-Silver Lake) claimed medalist honors for the first time in his collegiate career with a four-round total of 287 (-1). Dammann (dah-min) claimed the school’s seventh individual national championship in all sports and first since 2001 when wrestler Brandon Novak won the 197-pound weight class at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Senior Andrew Longbella (Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonnell) tied for seventh overall with a total of 302 (+14), followed by junior Matt Bohlig (Eagan, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) and sophomore Joe Daly (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) who tied for 26th with a 310 (+22). Sophomore Joe Schoolmeesters (Litchfield, Minn./Litchfield), the 2007 MIAC Player of the Year, finished with a 315 (+27).
The Johnnies shot rounds of 300, 300, 301 and 303 to finish 12 strokes ahead of second-place La Verne (+64). Ohio Wesleyan (+65), Huntingdon (+75) and Oglethorpe (+83) rounded out the top five.
This is the second consecutive season, and fourth time in the last seven years, that an institution from the 12-state Central Region has won the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship. Nebraska Wesleyan won the title last year, fellow Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member Gustavus Adolphus won in 2004 and Wisconsin-Eau Claire won in 2001.
The field of 35 teams was cut to 23 teams after Wednesday’s round with nine-time champion Methodist being eliminated by Salem State in a playoff, 18-19 for the final spot.
The 2007 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships were hosted by Anderson University and the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and held at Hawthorns Golf and Country Club in Fishers, Ind., and Prairie View G.C. in Carmel, Ind. Both courses play to a par 72.
The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) will hold its annual awards banquet Friday evening at Hawthorns, in which various All-America, All-District and Coach of the Year awards will be presented.
Head coach Bob Alpers completed his 14th season as head golf coach at Saint John's University. The Johnnies have earned six MIAC titles and made eight straight NCAA appearances under Alpers, in which they earned a third-place finish (2003), a sixth-place finish (2005), two seventh-place finishes (2000 and 2001), one eighth-place finish (2002), a 13th place finish (2004) and an 18th place finish (2006) at the NCAA Division III Championships. The 2005 GCAA Eaton Golf Pride Regional Coach of the Year, Alpers has won MIAC Coach of the Year honors six times during his coaching career (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007).