The nationally-ranked 2009-10 Ferris State University men's golf team managed to accomplish an unprecedented feat in the program's highly-successful annals at the 2010 NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships (May 18-21) with a record-setting seventh-place tying 1,232 team score performance.
Ferris State's seventh-place tie in the four-round national tournament played at the par 72, 7,173-yard The Sagamore Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind., surpassed the Bulldogs' eighth-place showing at the 2009 championships. Besides 2009, FSU also produced eighth-place efforts three years in a row (1998, 1999, and 2000). Ferris State carded a four-round 1,196 score (+60) at the 2009 NCAA-II Championships (May 19-22) in Blaine, Wash.
FSU produced its 80-over-par 1,232-stroke total with rounds of 305, 310, 308, and 309 in the 72-hole event. The Bulldogs earned a share of seventh place with Western New Mexico (314-294-302-322=1232, +80). Florida Southern was crowned the 2010 national champions as a result of producing a 1,206 score (+54) and finished seven strokes in front of runner-up Central Missouri (1213, +61). Chico (Calif.) State captured third place by registering a 1,214 stroke total (+62). Sonoma (Calif.) State and Barry (Fla.) rounded out the top five with fourth-place 1,216 (+64) and fifth-place 1,218 (+66) scores, respectively. Top individual medalist honors went to Abilene Christian's Cyril Bouniol, who chalked up a three-under par 285-stroke total.
Leading the way for Ferris State was senior Kurt Valley (Bay City/Western), who posted a five-over-par final-round 77 score and finished tied for 18th place with a 304 score (77-76-74-77=304, +16). A season ago, the 2009-10 PING All-Midwest Region Team member shot a 20th-place tying 297 (+13).
Senior Eric Lilleboe (Okemos/Lansing Catholic Central) closed out his collegiate career by claiming a share of 37th place following a 311 score (73-78-81-79=311, +23). Senior Craig Burrows (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Olmstead Falls) netted a five-over-par 77 score in Friday's (May 21) final round and earned a share of 41st-place honors by firing a four-round 312-stroke total (82-79-74-77=312, +24). Burrows moved up 13 places after starting today's fourth round tied for 54th place.
Junior Garrett Simons' (Grand Ledge) 316 (79-82-79-76=316, +28) proved deserving of a 54th-place tie after he previously held a share of 77th place following the first three rounds of competition.
Closing out the scoring for the Bulldogs was junior Joe Brown (St. Ignace/LaSalle), who turned in a 73rd-place tying effort by tallying a 325 score (76-77-81-91=325, +37).
Weather played a factor in this Friday's (May 21) final round as the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Committee utilized the administrative cut option per the tournament's guidelines and procedures due to a forecast of thunderstorms. The administrative cut trimmed the field to 15 five-member teams (from 20 five-member teams that competed in the first three rounds) and the remaining top six individuals (in this case, seven individuals due to a tie for sixth) from the 5 five-member teams that were cut and the eight individual competitors who played the first three rounds.
All 82 players were able to complete the final round although conditions had an impact as the winds were prevalent much of the day, a significant change from the tournament's first three rounds.
Ferris State's national tournament appearance marked the program's second straight and 14th all-time in the program's history. The Bulldogs were listed in a 24th-place tie in the final Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches' Poll of the 2010 spring season.