Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's golf team advanced to the national quarterfinals at the 2017 NCAA Division II Championships as the Bulldogs finished seventh overall following the stroke play portion of the tournament on Wednesday (May 24) at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla.
The Bulldogs, who were tied for fifth overall heading into the final day of the event, battled thru hot and windy conditions in the final round of the 54-hole stroke play portion of the tournament to secure a top-eight finish and a berth into the medal/match play portion of the championships.
The national quarterfinals will take place on Thursday (May 25) morning with the seventh-seeded Bulldogs facing second-seeded Florida Southern. Tee times begin at 8:20 a.m. (ET) with the winner advancing to the national semifinals on Thursday afternoon. The title match to determine the national team champion is set for Friday (May 25).
FSU was the only school outside of the state of Florida or South Carolina to finish among the top seven teams in the country.
The Bulldogs shot a 305 team score over the final 18 holes of competition and finished with a three-round 880 (+40) team score. FSU had a one-shot advantage over eighth place finisher Arkansas Tech (+41) with North Alabama finished another stroke (+42) behind.
In Thursday's quarterfinals, top-seeded Barry (Fla.), which carded a +10 finish, will square off against Arkansas Tech. The winner of that match will face the winner of fourth-seeded Lynn (Fla.) (+26) and fifth-seeded Florida Tech (+28) while the FSU-Florida Southern (+13) winner meets the winner of the third-seeded West Florida (+14) versus sixth-seeded Newberry (S.C.) (+34) winner in the semis.
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. The Bulldogs used a late surge to move into the secure a quarterfinal-berth.
Bulldog senior Ben 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.
Ferris State's Seth 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.
FSU's Andrew 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' Jack 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, Ryan 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 are 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 are being 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 are now 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.
Both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the Medal/Match competition for those advancing teams taking place on Thursday. The final round of the team competition takes place on Friday.
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.