Sandburg Men’s Golf Team Qualifies for NJCAA Championship

  Aaron Frey
  Monday, October 9, 2017 10:15 AM
  Campus News, Athletics

LaSalle, IL

The Carl Sandburg College men’s golf team is headed back to the NJCAA Division II National Championship.

The Chargers edged Lake County by one stroke to finish second in the Region IV tournament Saturday at Senica’s Oak Ridge and punch their ticket to nationals.

Sandburg held on to grab the second and final team qualifier spot after taking a seven-stroke lead into the final round of the 54-hole tournament. The Chargers shot 334 in the final round for a 957 total, while Lake County’s third-round 328 left the Lancers at 958. Black Hawk won the tournament with a 901 total.

This marks the sixth time Sandburg’s men's golf program has qualified for the national tourney. The Chargers have now advanced a team or individual to nationals in each of the last six seasons and in 10 of the last 11 years. The NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship will take place May 21-24 at Glenlakes Golf Club in Foley, Ala.

Chargers sophomore Ryan Hansen (Neponset, Ill./Kewanee), an individual qualifier for nationals last season, led Sandburg with an eighth-place finish after shooting 232 (75-76-81) for the tournament to earn All-Region IV honors for the second straight year.

Twins Brady and Bryce Grafton (Orion, Ill./Orion) each had their scores count in all three rounds for the Chargers. Brady Grafton shot 80-79-81 for a 240 total, while Bryce Grafton finished with rounds of 81, 76 and 85 for a total of 242.

Brayden Reece’s (Monmouth, Ill./Monmouth-Roseville) 2-over-par 74 in Friday’s first round was the Chargers’ lowest of the weekend. Reece added rounds of 82 and 92 to finish at 248. Sophomore Michael Curry shot 84-87-87 to finish at 258 for Sandburg.

Black Hawk’s Jake Beck was the Region IV medalist after finishing at 7 over for the tournament, two shots better than Highland’s Connor Hurd.

Chargers coach Ryan Twaddle has now led more teams to nationals than any other coach in Sandburg history. Twaddle has advanced teams to the national tournament in men’s golf three times (2014, 2015 and 2017) and in men’s basketball in 2014, moving him past former men’s golf coach K.C. Harding, who sent three teams to nationals.


Men's golf 2017 Region tournament

The Carl Sandburg College men’s golf team finished second in the Region IV tournament Saturday at Senica’s Oak Ridge to qualify for the NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship, which will take place May 21-24 at Glenlakes Golf Club in Foley, Ala. Pictured with the Region IV runner-up trophy are team members (L-R) coach Ryan Twaddle, Bryce Grafton, Andrew Welgat, Anthony Neve, Michael Curry, Ryan Hansen, Brayden Reece, volunteer assistant Colin Price and Brady Grafton.

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Aaron Frey