Vernon’s Matthew Kreutz was clutch as Minot State University (North Dakota) finished with a final-round 308 to finish third overall, shooting a three-round total of 903 at the 2017 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Men’s Golf Championships Saturday at Paradise Pointe – Outlaw in Smithville, MO.
The Beavers came into the final round with a one-stroke lead on the field, but couldn’t finish the tournament off, finishing two strokes back of St. Cloud State and 15 behind three-time defending champion Minnesota State.
Kreutz, a sophomore, was fourth overall with a 220 total, shooting a 3-over-par 75 in the final round. He was named to the All-Tournament team by virtue of his top-five finish.
“It was a disappointing day in strong winds,” said MSU head coach Randy Westby. “Minnesota State shot an impressive 291 in the final round. We had a couple of bad finishing holes that cost us second. We made some great strides forward this year. We were eighth last year and moved up to third with a real young team.”
There were only three at par or better rounds on Saturday and the Mavericks finished with two of them. The 291 for Minnesota State was the low round of the tournament on a day when no other team in the 10-team field broke 300.
The Beavers broke 300 twice in the tournament and finished ahead or tied with all but three teams Saturday. Overall, MSU had three tournament championships, two seconds, a third and a fourth-place finish.
“This was clearly our best year in DII,” said Westby. “Last night I was hoping for our first NSIC title and now I look forward to next year with Beaver golf on track to being a regional power. With our returning players and recruits, I feel we will be there.”
Earlier in April, Kreutz was also the top Beaver shooter as Minot State was second in the Upper Iowa Spring Invite at Sunnyside Country Club.
The Beavers came into the final round tied with Lindenwood, but LU pulled away, firing a superb 296 in the final round. Minot State, which shot a solid 307 in round one, finished with a 315 in Sunday’s final.
“We got steady play from Kreutz,” said Westby. “The rest of the guys were a bit up and down. I feel like we are improving with each day we are able to play. With the facilities opening in Minot, we will get some time in. We have 10 days until conference and we are practicing hard until then.”