Rochester, New York – University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s golfer Mats Heien had himself in position to make the cut, but a tough run of holes down the home stretch was too much to overcome as Heien narrowly missed the cut at the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf National Championship Wednesday (May 11th) in New York. Heien, a junior from Royken, Norway, was one of five individuals selected to compete in this year’s event.
Heien opened his day with a bogey on the first hole, but he reclaimed that stroke with a birdie on the eighth hole. Heien also carded ten pars and was even-par through 12 holes. He then hit a stretch of three bogeys in four holes to drop him to three over. He closed out his round with two more pars to finish at 75 on the day and just outside the cutline. Heien played Wednesday’s round on a par-72, 6,632-yard layout at Midvale Golf Club. He finished the tournament with a 77-75=152 total and tied for 45th place. Kethan Reddy of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has the individual lead after carding a two-day total of 68-75=143.
“I was disappointed not to be able to compete for the championship,” Heien said. “I had played well here before and these past two days I just didn’t putt or hit the ball the way I normally do. I was grinding over every shot both days just trying to get things going. I appreciate the support of everyone in the UMHB family and I really wanted to share an NCAA title with everyone in the Cru.”
“We are disappointed Mats will miss the final two days because we really felt like he had a chance going into the tournament,” Cru Head Coach Jordan Cox said. “Mats hit the ball so much better today than in round one and gave himself chances, but just couldn’t get any putts to go in. When you are as good a player as he is, you think some putts will fall if you keep putting yourself in position. I am extremely proud of Mats because of his passion and how much he wanted this. He played his heart out until the very last shot.”
Heien was just the third UMHB men’s golfer to compete in the NCAA Division III National Championship as an individual. Dillon Gooch was selected as an individual in 2005 and Pablo Mena Medrano competed as an individual in 2013 after the Cru’s team missed the cut. The 41-team, five individual field was cut to the low 15 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams for the final two rounds of the tournament. The four-day, 72-hole event is being hosted by St. John Fisher College and is played on Midvale and Mendon Golf Courses in Rochester, New York.