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Waldorf places fifth in fall NSAA Championships

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy: Waldorf Sports Information Director

ALBERT LEA, Minnesota – The Waldorf University men’s golf team placed fifth at the fall portion of the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Championships.

Waldorf brought the fall tournament to a close on Tuesday, compiling a 36-hole total of 656 strokes. The Warriors showed some signs of promise, but also plan to improve their position in the spring.

“There are definitely some bright spots in how they performed, but we can do better, and that’s how we have to look at it,” Waldorf Coach Mark Clouse said. “We have a couple more rounds to climb the ladder and get back into the hunt.”

Hugo Becerra led the Warriors after finishing in a 13th-place tie. The senior from Ocotlan, Mexico put together a 36-hole score of 160, behind rounds of 81 and 79. Becerra looks to remain in the hunt for the NSAA individual title.

“Hugo is not far off from being in the individual race,” Clouse said.

Waldorf senior Chad Hein claimed 17th after providing a 162, following rounds of 83 and 79. Senior Thomas O’Rourke tied for 18th, shooting a 166 after carding rounds of 84 and 82. Freshman Justin Pierce finished in a 24th-place tie, totaling a 173 behind rounds of 92 and 81. Sophomore Zabdiel Flores rounded out Warrior scorers by recording 26th, turning in a score of 174 following consecutive 87-stroke rounds.

Waldorf’s depth across the board showed as four individuals bettered their scores on Day 2. Pierce and Hein saw the biggest improvements as Pierce lowered his round score by 11 strokes, while Hein shot four strokes better.

“We had great contributions from Chad and Justin,” Clouse said. “They came in with some decent scores [on Tuesday], which was good. We needed it, and it’s nice to have that support from all five players on the team.”

The competition had to fight strong winds during both days of the tournament.

“It was definitely two of the windiest days that we’ve had in some time,” Clouse said. “It was a mental test for sure. When you have a 25-mile-per-hour wind gust blowing in your face, you need to be able to decide how much more club to use to get the normal distance. It’s a tough adjustment, but golf is an outside sport, so you need to adjust to that when the conditions arise.”

Bellevue University, which is receiving votes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) preseason poll, topped the NSAA team standings with a score of 607. University of Jamestown (624) jumped Valley City State University for second in the standings. Valley City State (630) took third, while Viterbo University (635), Waldorf and Dickinson State University (726) round out the team standings.

Valley City State’s Kyle Wiebe and Bellevue’s Fernando Arzate tied for first, each shooting scores of 149. Bellevue teammates Juan Gomez and Diego Gudino shared third with scores of 150. Jamestown’s Jacob Rice took fifth after compiling a 152.

In the spring, the second half of the 72-hole NSAA Championships will be completed. The conference team winner and individual champion each advance to the NAIA National Championships in Silvis, Illinois with action taking place May 16-19.

Waldorf concludes the fall season at the two-day William Penn Classic in Oskaloosa, beginning on Oct. 9 at 10 a.m. The Warriors look to end the fall with a strong finish.

“They’re trending well,” Clouse said. “I’d like to see them come out with a good tournament.”