Prior to the start of the 2019 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, Ashland University head men's golf coach Dennis North said this, "I'm expecting us to make it to Sunday."
And make it to Sunday the Eagles have – in very impressive fashion.
Through the 36 holes of all 11 conference teams competing, Ashland had the lowest team score at 295-295—590. Following play on Saturday (April 20) at Bedford Valley Country Club in Battle Creek, Mich., the Eagles will be the No. 1 seed going into Sunday (April 21) morning's medal play semifinals.
Ashland will take on No. 4 seed Wayne State (307-298—605) in the semis, while the other semi will have No. 2 Grand Valley State (302-289—591) going against No. 3 Ferris State (298-301—599). The two semifinal winners will play in the medal play finals for the GLIAC title on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles enter the conference semifinals with the following team scores in the last six rounds – 291, 292, 294, 295, 295 and 295.
Individually, three Ashland golfers finished the first part of GLIACs in the top 10. Leading the charge was senior Austin Kondratick, who was the conference runner-up after firing five second-round birdies and ending at 2-under-par 71-71—142. Kondratick was three shots behind GLIAC medalist Alex Scott of Grand Valley State, who carded a 5-under 71-68—139.
Sophomore Ben Jones was close behind, placing in a tie for third individually at 1-under 71-72—143. Jones hit back-to-back birdies on holes No. 13 and 14 on Saturday.
Junior Patrick Steffen played the back nine at 2-under on Saturday, including three of his four birdies on the day, and finished in a tie for seventh at 73-75—148.
Redshirt freshman Luke Tanner's round of 77 was the other scoring round for AU on Saturday, as he moved up to a tie for 39th overall (83-77—160). Also finishing in a tie for 39th was senior Cole Smith, whose three Saturday birdies helped with an 80-80—160 ending.
Sunday's semifinals will begin at 8:30 a.m., and Sunday's finals are slated to begin at 1:45 p.m.