posted October 18, 2009

Flying Dutchmen Win MIAA Men's Golf Crown

The Flying Dutchmen are champions of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) for the ninth time in 11 years.

Sealing the title at a season-ending tournament on their own home course, coach Bob Ebels' Flying Dutchmen finished 41 strokes ahead of the field. The team gained the championship with consistent play, taking first in three of the eight conference tournaments and finishing third or higher in the rest.  The Flying Dutchmen set an MIAA course record at the Milham golf course in Kalamazoo.

The men's golf championship is the 14th in school history.

Senior Steven Strock (Grandville, Mich.) captured league medalist honors for the second straight year and was joined on the All-MIAA first team by teammates Charlie Olson, a freshman from Suttons Bay, Mich., and Nick Campbell, a sophomore from Saline, Mich. Campbell was an All-MIAA second team honoree in 2008.

For the season, Strock averaged 73.7 strokes per 18-hole round while Olson ended at 74.1 and Nick Campbell 74.25. His seasonal average (73.7) was the ninth best in Hope school history.

Other Hope golfers who qualified for the final MIAA seasonal standings were junior Chris Ansel of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland East HS), 77.4 average, and sophomore Andy Thomson of Beaver Dam, Wisc. (Central Wisconsin Christian HS), 80.1 average.

Ansel had an individual highlight when he shot a hole-in-one on the 11th hole (208 yards, par 3) at the Bedford Valley Country Club on Sept. 8. It was only the fourth hole-in-one in modern-day MIAA history and the second by a Hope golfer. The other was by Jay Prasad in 1997 (Duck Lake GC, 5th hole, par 3, 115 yards).

Other members of the team included freshman John Cannon of Traverse City, Mich. (Traverse City West HS); freshman Auastin Farah of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Southfield Christian HS), sophomore Chris Harwood of Westfield, Ind. (Brebeuf Prep); sophomore Caleb Nykamp of Holland, Mich. (Holland Christian HS); freshman Adam Peplinski of Cedar, Mich. (St. Mary's HS); and sophomore Scott Webster pf Ada, Mich. (Linfield, Calif. Christian HS).