Men's Golf Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals

Men's Golf Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals
Senior Jared Dalga is finishing his college career in his hometown area. Dalga had five birdies Wednesday to shoot par. Photo by Joel Auerbach

ALLENDALE, Mich. – Barry University men’s golf team finished second in the NCAA Division II Championships stroke play Wednesday at The Meadows Golf Course.

The No. 1-ranked Buccaneers shot a tournament-low 280 Wednesday on the par-71, 7,034-yard course under sunny conditions and low winds to vault three spots in the final round for an 877 three-round total. Barry, the No. 2 seed, now advances to play seventh-seeded Cal State Monterey Bay in Thursday’s 8:15 a.m. match play quarterfinals, beginning on the first tee.

Buccaneers sophomore Adam Svensson was the individual runner-up with a 54-hole total of 1-over 214. He shot 3-under in the final round behind four birdies and one bogey. Florida Southern’s Tim Crouch won the tournament by a stroke after also shooting 68.

Barry senior Scott Smyers shot 2-under 69 in his final collegiate round of stroke play to finish tied for 11th at  220. Smyers, who recorded a hole-in-one on the opening day of the tournament, ripped off six birdies in Wednesday’s final round.

Senior Jared Dalga, who is closing the book on his college career in his hometown area of Grand Rapids, had his best round of the tournament, using a four-birdie, bogey-free front nine to anchor an even par finish. He had five birdies in the third round, and finished tied for 30th at 224.

Freshman Mario Beltran shot 1-over 72 Wednesday, eagling the par-5, 526-yard fourth. He finished tied for 52nd. Junior Berry Jole shot 76 in the final round, finishing tied for 25th at 223. He also eagled No. 4.

Nova Southeastern shot 281 in the final round to win the stroke play at 863. The No. 1-seeded Sharks will meet No. 8 Indiana-Pennsylvania in the quarterfinals.

The Bucs, who like the rest of the 20-team, 108-player field struggled on the back nine the first two days of the tournament, played their best golf Wednesday. The Bucs had six birdies, four by Smyers, on the back nine Wednesday. In the first two rounds combined, they had seven birdies and Smyers’ double-eagle on the back nine.

Smyers will meet Monterey Bay’s Brandon Hortt at 8:15 a.m. Beltran tees off against Anton Rosen at 8:24. Jole plays Carr Vernon at 8:33. Dalga squares off against Dylan Jackson at 8:42. Svensson meets Ray Richards at 8:51 a.m.

Each individual match is worth one point for the team in a man vs. man format where players battle against each other on a hole-by-hole basis. Overall strokes or total score will decide any team score tiebreakers.

Last year, Barry emerged out of the No. 2 seed to win the NCAA Championship. The Bucs won the 2007 title in a stroke play-only format on The Meadows.