posted December 1, 2001

Flying Dutchmen Repeat as MIAA Golf Champions

 The Hope College men's golf team saved its best for last in claiming a third consecutive MIAA championship.

Coach Bob Ebels' Dutchmen topped the conference standings the entire season, but saw their advantage erode in the final week by Calvin and Olivet.

It also marked a clean sweep on the links this fall for Hope's golf teams as the Flying Dutch were the MIAA women's champions.

In the final tournament at the Thornapple Creek Golf Course in Kalamazoo, the Dutchmen shot a course-record 393 strokes to finish nine strokes ahead of Olivet and 19 ahead of Calvin.

For the season Hope finished 17 strokes ahead of runnerup Olivet and 24 ahead of Calvin followed by Alma, Adrian, Albion and Kalamazoo.

Hope senior Eric Wohlfield of Brighton (Brighton HS) shot a course-record 73 to gain seasonal medalist honors. He had trailed Olivet freshman Kyle Rank the entire fall, but by gaining a three-stroke advantage on Tuesday was able to finish ahead in the seasonal player standings by two strokes.

Wohlfield becomes just the third player in MIAA history to be league medalist three times. The others were Henry Brown of Kalamazoo (1934-35-36) and Brian Robinette of Olivet (1990-91-93). This season he averaged 75.3 strokes per tournament.

He becomes the first Hope male golfer to be a four-time All-MIAA first team golfer and just the fifth in league history. The others were Ted Durdel of Adrian (1974-77), Keith Penoyar of Olivet (1977-80), Matt Lowman of Albion (1993-96) and Mark Raven of Olivet (1996-99).

In four seasons, Wohlfield had only one 18-hole round above 80 strokes. His career average of 74.4 strokes over 30 conference tournaments is a league record since the current tournament format was established in 1978. The previous record was 76.1 strokes by Mark Raven of Olivet from 1996-99.

Wohlfield was joined on this year's All-MIAA first team by freshman Ryan Shedd of Coldwater who was fourth in the seasonal standings at 78.1 strokes.

Three Hope golfers achieved All-MIAA second team honors -- sophomore Jeff Melville of Grandville (Jenison HS), eighth place (81.1); freshman Kody Taylor of Greenville (Greenville HS), ninth place (81.3); and junior Patrick Looman of Holland (Holland Christian HS), 11th place (81.6).

Other members of the team are sophomore Andrew Doxtater of Stanwood (Morley-Stanwood HS), freshman John Falatko of Pleasant Lake (Jackson Northwest HS), freshman Loren Kronemeyer of Grand Rapids (GR Christian HS), sophomore Steve VanBeek of Hudsonville (Unity Christian HS), and junior Jonathan Wendrick of Brighton (Pinckney HS).