Spartan men qualify for nationals

Southwestern's men's golf team qualified for the NJCAA Men's Golf National Championships.

AMES - The Southwestern men's golf team secured a spot in the NJCAA Men's Golf National Championship by placing third at the Region XI Championships Sunday and Monday at Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames.

The Spartans entered the second day of competition in a tie for the third and final team qualifying spot with Northeast Community College, just one stroke ahead of NIACC, four strokes ahead of Iowa Lakes and five strokes ahead of Hawkeye Community College. But, the Spartans posted the second-lowest round on Monday to finish just two strokes back of runner-up DMACC and 16 strokes clear of fourth-place Northeast. Kirkwood won the team championship with its score of 603. DMACC shot a 623 and Southwestern finished at 625.

Southwestern's Monday score of 307 was bettered only by Kirkwood's 299.

Individually, the Spartans were led by sophomores Oliver Pearson and Reinhardt Saunderson, both of whom qualified for nationals individually last year. Pearson and Saunderson finished in a four-way tie for seventh place, each shooting a two-day total of 10-over, 154. Sophomore Kyle Somers of Creston finished in a tie for 17th place at 16-over, while sophomore Shaun Richards tied for 19th at 17-over. Somers climbed 13 spots up the leaderboard Monday with his round of 76, while Richards climbed seven spots with a second-round score of 78. Sophomore Jesper Holke-Farnam made the biggest jump of anyone on the leaderboard Monday, improving 17 spots to finish tied for 24th. Holke-Farnam shot the second-lowest round of the day Monday with a 3-over-par 75.

The NJCAA Men's Golf National Championship is held May 21-24 at Swan Lake Golf Resort in Plymouth, Indiana.