EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Calvin men's golf team used a third place finish at the MIAA Fall Tournament to cement a spot in next spring's MIAA AQ Tournament.
Calvin finished the 36-hole fall tournament with a third place team score of 606 strokes. In doing so, Calvin finished fourth in the final MIAA overall team standings with 1,851 strokes. The top four teams from the regular season qualify for the spring MIAA AQ Tournament which will take place in late April on two successive weekends, consisting of 54 holes. The winner of the tournament will receive the MIAA's automatic bid to the NCAA III Championships in May.
Calvin has now qualified for the MIAA AQ Tournament eight consecutive years.
The Knights nearly leapfrogged Kalamazoo for third place in the final standings but finished just five strokes behind the Hornets.
Calvin finished six strokes ahead of Kalamazoo over the weekend and just five strokes behind second place Hope.
Trine took first place at the weekend tournament (583) and won the overall league title by a healthy 53-stroke margin.
The final MIAA regular season standings consisted of four 18 hole MIAA Jamborees along with the 36-hole MIAA Fall Tournament.
Junior Sam Holland (Novi, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central HS) set the pace for the Knights by shooting a weekend score of 145 strokes (73-72) at the Forest Akers West Golf Course.
Holland finished third in the weekend tournament and placed fourth in the final overall MIAA individual standings with a season average of 73.5 strokes-per-round. By finishing in the top-six of the final MIAA standings, Holland earned a spot on the All-MIAA First Team.
Sophomore Kasen Anderson (Stillwater, Mn./St. Croix Preparatory HS) had a strong finish to the fall, shooting back-to-back rounds of 76 to finish ninth in the MIAA Fall Tournament standings,
Freshman Jacob Siebenga (Surrey, B.C.) had a 76 and a 78 to finish 15th on the weekend (154) while junior Joshua Lansky (Park City, UT/Park City HS) tied for 18th (77-78). Senior Austin Umlauf (Lowell, Ind./Hanover Central HS) had an 83 Friday but then came back with a 78 on Saturday.
COACHES COMMENT: "Sam Holland, who earned MIAA First Team honors this fall, stepped into a leadership role this season and handled it like a pro," said Calvin men's golf coach Brian Bolt. "We needed him to post low scores every day, and that requires a mature competitor. Sam responded with incredible poise and heart. He is a true leader. I'm really proud of the accomplishments of this team We have some big challenges this year but we set a goal to make the MIAA postseason. We needed a strong effort under pressure this weekend, and the guys really responded with the best scores of the fall. They are starting to believe in themselves as a team, and we are trusting each other. We are excited to continue developing and will look to make a run this spring."
NEXT UP: Calvin will break until the spring when it begins a non-conference slate of tournaments building up to the MIAA AQ Tournament. Hope will host the opening 18-hole round of the MIAA AQ Tournament with Trine hosting the final 36-holes over a Friday/Saturday.
MIAA FALL TOURNAMENT TEAM SCORES
FINAL MIAA OVERALL TEAM STANDINGS