The M State Spartan men’s golf team now advances to the national championship after defending its regional and conference golf titles on Tuesday, winning both titles for the second consecutive year.
With a 16-stroke victory, the Spartans qualified as a team for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III National Championship at Chautauqua Golf Course in Chautauqua, N.Y., on June 4-7, 2013. The Spartans are the defending NJCAA national champions.
Leading the way for the Spartans was Lucas Gervais, who was the individual Minnesota College Athletic Conference and Region XIII champion by eight shots with a two-day total of 150. Coach Jason Retzlaff was named Region XIII Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.
“It was a fantastic two days and a great accomplishment for our golf team.” said Retzlaff. “After last year season, there were some heightened expectations, and these young men stepped in and performed the entire season with great poise. The Legacy is a course that demands that you keep the ball in play, and our players executed the game plan very well. All seven of our players were great contributors and can be very proud. I am thrilled that this group will get an opportunity to go to New York to defend our national title.”
The Spartans shot 321 on Monday and 325 on Tuesday for a two-day total of 646. Second-place Southwest Technical College of Fennimore, Wis., shot a two-day total of 662. The tournament was at Bobby’s Legacy Course at Cragun’s Resort in Gull Lake, with the two-day region and conference tournaments played simultaneously.
Individual results for M State golfers were: Lucas Gervais, 150 (1st place); Brandon Sletmoen, 163 (5th); Brady Robertson, 166 (6th); Rob Goff, 170 (10th); and Taylor Shuck, 171.
“Lucas was a cut above the rest of the field this week. He put on a spectacular ball-striking display and made the game look easy, which is pretty tough to do in this sport,” Retzlaff said. “It’s quite an honor to be the Spartans’ first conference individual champion in recent history. He made us very proud.”
Team scores were: M State, 646; Southwest Technical College, 662; Mesabi Range Community College, 675; Bismarck College, 678; Central Lakes College, 697; Hibbing Community College, 697; Rochester Community and Technical College, 715; and Lake Region State College, 766.