UMHB men's golf finishes 11th at NCAA National Championships; Ma - KXXV Central Texas News Now

UMHB men's golf finishes 11th at NCAA National Championships; Mats Heien ties for fifth place individually

(Source: UMHB) (Source: UMHB)

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men's golf team improved by two strokes on the final day, but slipped just outside of the top ten at the 2017 NCAA Division III National Championships Friday in Florida. The Cru finished in 11th place as a team, but senior Mats Heien posted the low individual finish in UMHB men's golf National Tournament history with a record-setting final round.

UMHB posted a final round 303 on Friday to finish with a four-day total of 304-298-305-303=1,210 to take 11th place. That four-day total breaks the previous school record of 1,221 set during the 2008 NCAA Division III National Championships. Wittenberg University won the Championship with a 1,180 team total, two shots clear of second place Guilford's College's 1,182. U.T. Tyler shot 1,188 to take third place and Huntingdon College and Greensboro College tied for fourth place with 1,190's. Hope College took sixth place with a 1,194, Methodist University claimed seventh at 1,196, Rhodes College posted 1,206 for eighth place, Illinois Wesleyan recorded a 1,207 for ninth place and LaGrange finished tenth, two strokes ahead of the Cru with a 1,208. Eighteen teams and six individuals competed in the final two rounds of the tournament after a cut from the 42 teams and six individuals who opened the event on Tuesday.

"We have such mixed emotions right now because the finish was a little higher than what we had in mind going into the tournament," Cru Head Coach Jordan Cox said. "But then you take a step back and realize what all this team was able to accomplish this season was really historic and it is all over the team record book. Our seniors have meant so much to this program and it will be a long time before some of the records they've set will be broken."

UMHB's Mats Heien fired a tournament low, five-under par 67 on the final day to set a new Cru record for lowest individual round in the National Tournament. Heien posted birdies on four holes on the front nine, wrapped birdies on 10 and 14 around a bogey on #12 and then closed out his college career with a birdie on the 18th hole to record the sixth lowest individual overall round in program history. Mason Wyatt closed out the final day with a 76 that included a pair of birdies, Jarrod Brown carded a 78, highlighted by an eagle on the par-four 14th hole, Kyle Revis posted an 82 with two birdies and Alden Fortner closed out the tournament with an 84 on Friday.

Heien finished in a tie for fifth-place individually after firing a 72-hole total of 75-73-76-67=291. He broke the Cru low 72-hole record of 300 set by Pablo Mena Medrano in 2014 by nine strokes and now has the best individual finish in a National Tournament in UMHB men's golf history. Brown tied for 35th place with a 72-76-75-78=301 to miss tying the previous record by one stroke. Wyatt recorded a 76-77-77-76=306 to tie for 50th place. Revis' 81-80-77-82=320 to finish 91st and Fortner tied for 92nd place with an 88-72-78-84=322. Hope College's Josh Gibson and Wittenberg's Garrett Brickley tied for the individual title with Gibson winning the individual finish on the first playoff hole.

"It was fun and I finally hit some good shots into the greens," Heien said. "I didn't think about shooting this kind of number going into the round. I really just wanted to enjoy the last round of my college career."

Following the round, Heien and Brown were named to the PING Division III All-American Team. The UMHB men were the only program in the country to place two players on the eight-player All-American squad.

The four-day, 72-hole event was played on two courses at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida. The Cru played three rounds on the par-72, 6,844-yard layout on the El Campeon Course. UMHB played Wednesday's Second Round on the par-72, 6,888-yard Las Colinas Course. The Cru's 11th place team finish is the second best in program history behind the 2007-08 team's 10th place finish. Friday's round also closes out the UMHB playing careers of seniors Brown, Fortner, Heien and Wyatt.

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