Men’s golf punches ticket to NCAA by winning the NSIC

The Maverick golf team birdied 21 holes in their final round to take first in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship Sunday. 

Over the course of the three-day event, Minnesota State shot a 286-296-276—858, the lowest three-round total in league tournament history.

The title marked Minnesota State’s first conference crown since the 2017-18 season and the 20th NSIC in program history. Between the NSIC and the NCC, the Mavericks have now collected 31 conference titles. The win secured MSU’s place in next month’s NCAA tournament.

The top three golfers in the tournament were Mavericks. Max Brud led the tournament shooting -2 in his final round. Ben Laffen and Karson Patten were close behind in second and third. 

Brud recorded 12 birdies over the weekend including three championship Sunday. He became just the eighth Maverick in school history to win medalist honors at the NSIC championship. His three-day total of 212 is the third lowest of all-time in the tournament. 

“I felt really good all weekend,” said Brud in a press release uploaded by Maverick Athletics. “We took advantage of the opportunities we had. Going into this week we had a mindset of being grateful for this opportunity and enjoy our time out on the course.”

In what will be his final conference tournament, Laffen shot a 213. In his lowest round where he carded a 67, Laffen used four birdies on the front nine and three more on the back nine. Laffen had 15 birdies, which led the entire competition. He also scored a par or better on 42 of the 54 holes. 

Patten’s third-place finish saw him end with a score of 215. The freshmen finished the competition in par four scoring with 4.03, and was tied for third in par five scoring with 4.50. He also finished with 11 birdies and 34 pars over the course of the three days. 

Throughout the tournament, the average round shot was 76.35. The Mavericks success shows as their average was 72.2.

“I’m really happy with how we started the day going ten under through five holes allowing us to extend our lead,” said head coach Alex Schmitz. “We never let up on the gas after that and we got a lot of putts to fall when we needed them. We’re excited for the opportunity to represent the conference at the regional tournament.”

The tournament was hosted at Adams Pointe Golf Club in Blue Springs, Missouri where the team recently finished third at the preview tournament three weeks ago. It is a par-72 course that plays to 6,848 yards. At the tournament, the team battled through freezing temperatures and snow. 

MSU shot a 288 in the second round, which meant that going into the final day of the tournament, the Mavs held a five-shot lead over Winona State University. 

They came back to the course to fair weather and the team showed they had what it takes to win. Their ability to fight and learn the course in the harsh conditions proved to help them in the final tournament. 

Looking ahead, the Mavericks return to action at the NCAA Midwest/Central Super Regional, May 9-11 at KickingBird Golf Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. The event is hosted by Southern Nazarene University. 

Header Photo: This win gave the Mavericks their 31st conference title in school history. The Mavs also had the top three performers of the tournament. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)

Write Luke Jackson at luke.jackson.2@mnsu.edu

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