Courtesy of Ferris State Athletic Communications
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. -- A memorable postseason run came to a close for the Ferris State University men's golf team on Thursday (May 25) as the Bulldogs fell in the national quarterfinals to Florida Southern in the 2017 NCAA Division II Championships at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla.
Second-seeded Florida Southern topped the seventh-seeded Bulldogs by a 5-0 count in the medal/match play showdown to advance to the semifinals. All five players on both competing teams battled head-to-head for 18 holes against an opposing player in the event.
Florida Southern jumped out to the early edge on FSU, but the Bulldogs battled back and remained within striking distance. However, it was not enough as Ferris State dropped all five head-to-head tilts, including two by a single stroke.
Both senior Ben Cook and FSU's Seth Terpstra dropped one-stroke decisions against their Florida Southern counterparts while Jack Weller suffered a three-stroke setback, Ryan Bayer fell by five strokes and Andrew Hammett dropped his match by seven strokes in the season-ending defeat.
Ferris State had advanced to the national quarterfinals by finishing seventh overall in the stroke play portion of the national championships that ran Monday thru Wednesday in Kissimmee. FSU was the only school outside of the state of Florida or South Carolina to finish among the top seven teams in the country in stroke play.
A total of 20 teams took part in the stroke play portion of the national championships on the par 70 course measuring 7,054 total yards. The three days of stroke play determined the final individual standings in the tournament with the team champion crowned thru the medal/match play format in a head-to-head competition.
FSU had shot a 286 score in the opening round followed by a 289 total in Tuesday's second round to climb the leaderboard before closing the 54 holes of stroke play with a final-round 305 figure on Wednesday.
In stroke play, Cook finished tied for 15th individually with a 214 total after shooting a 73 in the final round. He shot a 68 in round one before closing the tourney with back-to-back 73's over the final two days.
Terpstra carded a 75 over the final 18 holes to place tied for 32nd at 220 for the event. He posted back-to-back 75's the final two days after an opening-round 70 figure.
Hammett finished at 223 overall following a final-round 80 on Wednesday and came up tied for 45th in the field. His first round score was a 72 followed by a one-over 71 in Tuesday's action.
The Bulldogs' Weller placed tied for 66th in the field at 227 overall. Weller shot a 77 in the last round after posting scores of 78 and 72 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Finally, Bayer wound up tied for 87th for the Bulldogs with a three-round 230 figure. He shot a 76 in the opening round and a 73 in round two before closing with a 81 on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs were making their 15th all-time national championships appearance and first berth since 2010 after earning runner-up honors at the 2017 NCAA Midwest/Central Super Regional in Axtell, Neb. The finals were hosted by the Sunshine State Conference and the Central Florida Sports Commission.
At the National Championships, all 20 advancing teams and eight individuals completed 54 holes of stroke play with a round per day Monday thru Wednesday. The 54 holes of stroke play determined the ndividual champion along with finishers 2-10 based on cumulative total score and applicable tiebreakers. The top eight teams after 54 holes of play were then placed into a bracket and seeded based on 54-hole scores for the medal/match play portion of the competition to determine the team champion.
Ferris State's current 15-year NCAA Championship appearance streak in men's golf ranks as one of the longest active stretches in the country. FSU recorded a school-record seventh-place finish in its last trip to the national championships in 2010 before the medal/match play portion of the event was implemented.
The national quarterfinal appearance caps off what was an exciting season for the Bulldogs under first-year head coach and FSU alum Kyle Wittenbach. The Bulldogs won four tournaments in the fall, earned a top 10 national ranking, claimed runner-up honors at the Super Regional Championship and placed a school-best seventh overall in stroke play at the national championships this season before earning a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight.