(Salem, Oregon) The Holy Cross Men's Golf Team competed in the NAIA National Championships this past week in Salem, Oregon at Creekside Golf Course.
The Men's Golf Team was the first team everin the history of Holy Cross Athletics to compete in the NAIA National Championships after winning the CCAC Championship earlier in the month. They can walk away with their heads held high as they represented Holy Cross with a fourteenth place finish out of twenty-nine participants of the best golf teams in the NAIA.
The course was very long (6800 total yards), and the conditions were cloudy and rainy which is expected in the climate of the Pacific Northwest. They improved from a day one score total of 317 which was good for 16th overall to score twelve shots better in the day 2 with an overall score of 305. The second day improvement jumped them up three more spots in the championship to thirteenth overall for the tournament.
Sophomore Matthew Code (Ontario, Canada) and senior Eric Hartstein shot the best individual scores for the Saints early on in the competition. They finished with overall scores of 153 which was good for +9 over par for the tournament, and tied for 49th place out of 157 total competitors in the field.
Day three and day and four proved to be crucial as the Saints looked to move up the leaderboard over the weekend. They shot their best round of the tournament in day three shooting a 302 overall. The final day the Saints moved back a bit, but still shot a solid and consistent 309 on the final day of the tournament to finish in the top half of the entire NAIA with a fourteenth place finish.
"I am very proud of the showing. I thought we could have made a round in day three, but the teams in front of us answered with solid rounds of their own. Our team showed great competitiveness and class as they competed in the NAIA National Championships. I am very honored and proud to coach such a talented team," said Head Coach Tim Holt.
Harstein moved up to finish 38th overall in the entire tournament. All four days Harstein shot in the 70s, and that consistency paid off to a top fifty finish. Michael Fitzgerald (Flossmoor, Illinois) shot fantastic on the final three rounds to finish 66th overall in the tournament. Code ended up 72nd, and CCAC Player of the Year Mike Prior (Schoolcraft, Michigan) rounded out the team's performance with a 75th place finish in the tournament.
"All the guys played pretty consistent, and I am really happy that we made the cut to compete in the finals of the tournament. Not every team gets to do that, and for our first appearance that is a great achievement on our part as a team," said Coach Holt.