SILVIS, Ill. - For years, the William Penn men’s golf team has toiled in anonymity, but it is no longer just an also-ran after winning the NAIA Preview Monday and Tuesday.
In an event that featured four NAIA top-25 teams and four more receiving votes, the Statesmen finished first out of 24 programs with a two-day score of 596 (303-293) at the par-71 TPC Deere Run Golf Course. TPC Deere Run is also the host site of next May’s NAIA National Championships.
WPU entered the second day in a tie for sixth, five strokes back of Midland (Neb.), but its tournament-low 293 blitzed the field, including beating runner-up and #12 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) by four strokes (299-301--600). The navy and gold also defeated #7 William Woods (Mo.), #23 Culver-Stockton, and #24 Northwestern as well as a quartet of teams receiving votes (Morningside, Grand View, Mount Mercy, and Marian-Ind.).
The program had not claimed a tournament crown for years (actual number of seasons is unknown), but has improved exponentially over the past several campaigns to the point that it has taken home 16 titles since 2013-2014; William Penn has three wins thus far this year.
Two Statesmen finished in the top 10 in the 120-person event, while Curtis Brokenbrow of Missouri Baptist won the tourney at one-under 141 (71-70).
Sebastian Rulis (Sr., Helsingor, Denmark, Business Management) guided WPU by tying for sixth at 146 (76-70), while Zachary Chegwidden (So., Essex, England, Business Management) tied for ninth at 148 (76-72).
Peter Frederiksen (Sr., Hornslet, Denmark, Mechanical Engineering) ended up in a tie for 32nd with a score of 154 (72-82), while Frederik Lundsgaard (Sr., Jebjerg, Denmark, History/Government) (79-76) and Zach Swink (Sr., Burlington, Iowa, Sociology) (80-75) tied for 37th at 155.
“To say the least, this was a quality win for our program!” Head Coach Steve Tucker said. “These guys are so exciting to be around and everybody had a huge part of this win. We know that this is still not as good as we can be and we will continue to work hard to get ready for our fall finale in Oklahoma.”
Next Up: William Penn travels to Oklahoma City, Okla. on October 30-31 to compete in the Southern Plains Intercollegiate hosted by #1 Oklahoma City. Play will be contested at Gaillardia Country Club.