2005-06 Final Northern Colorado Men's Golf Weekly Release
June 6, 2006
Bears Claim Division I Independent Championship
Northern Colorado pulled away from Francis Marion and held off South Dakota State to claim the 2006 Division I Independent Men's Golf Championship held at Pelican Lakes Golf & Country Club April 28-30.
In the first annual event, Northern Colorado trailed Francis Marion by five strokes after day one, were one stroke up after day two and ended up winning the event by eight strokes over South Dakota State, who had a tournament low score of 282 on the final day to finish second. Francis Marion slipped back to third, three strokes behind SDSU. Texas-Pan American and North Dakota State tied for fourth, 11 strokes behind third place, Utah Valley State was sixth and Sacramento State was seventh.
Although Utah Valley State was sixth as a team, junior Nic Van Vuuren claimed the individual medalist title, finishing at -6 for the 54 holes, four strokes ahead of North Dakota State's Eric Johnson. Johnson had a 3-under score of 69 (the second lowest score by any player at the event) on Sunday to finish one stroke ahead of Northern Colorado's Eric Higgins (-1). Tim Knight and Jordan Ensrud tied for sixth (+3). Other Northern Colorado finishers included Tom Gempel (12th, +7) and Kyle Sullivan (14th, +8). Seven Northern Colorado players played as individuals and did not count towards the team scores. They included Eric Doyle (12th, +7), Jon Stecher (23rd, +11), Kyle Burns (23rd, +11), Mike Martin (28th, +13), Doug Sutter (34th, +15), Derek Hofmeister (38th, +17) and Ryan Husted (40th, +20).
Four Named to Division I All-Independent Team
Four Northern Colorado players were named to the year-end D-I All-Independent team. Senior Tim Knight, a second-team selection in 2004-05, was a first-team selection this season and runner-up for Player of the Year (which was based on stroke average). Juniors Eric Higgins and Jon Stecher were both second-team selections and freshman Jordan Ensrud earned All-Newcomer Team honors. Teams were based on scoring average and consisted of players from the 16 D-I Independent schools that sponsored men's golf.
Stecher and Gempel Named to D-I Independent All-Academic Team
Junior Jon Stecher (3.63 in marketing) and sophomore Tom Gempel (3.49 in business) were each named to the Division I Independent All-Academic Team for their performances in the classroom. Each D-I Independent team was able to nominate two players from their squad.
In the final Golfweek national rankings of the year (June 4), Northern Colorado was ranked 104th nationally out of 281 total Division I teams. The Bears ranked 99th at the end of the fall season, and were 93rd a year ago. In the GolfStat rankings at the end of the regular season, Northern Colorado ranked 56th nationally with their score versus par and 75th nationally in adjusted rankings. GolfStat rankings are based only on tournament scores during the 2005-06 season.