RIVERSIDE - Ashford University and Grand View University won team titles as the Midwest Collegiate Conference Golf Championships wrapped up Saturday at Blue Top Ridge Golf Course hosted by Iowa Wesleyan College.
Ashford won the women's championship while Grand View won the men's title as both abbreviated tourneys concluded late in the afternoon Saturday. Meanwhile the Iowa Wesleyan golf teams improved on Saturday in the better weather but held steady in the standings, with the men finishing seventh and the women placing eighth.
Ashford won its first-ever MCC women's golf title in dramatic fashion. In a race that saw the top four teams separated by a total of five strokes, Ashford finished with a 27-hole score of 565 to edge Grand View (567), St. Ambrose University (569) and Viterbo (Wis.) University (570) for an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships in Greeneville, Tenn.
The Saints led after the first 18 holes with a score of 376, eight strokes ahead of the field, but Grand View, St. Ambrose and Viterbo all closed in over the final nine holes and the team championship came right down to the final pairing.
Ashford's Brittany Boon and Jordan Davis both shot nine-hole scores of 44 to individually finish second and fourth, respectively. The two-day championship was shortened from 36 holes to 27 due to rain, wind and cold in Eastern Iowa.
Nicole McDonald of Grand View won medalist honors and is the MCC's individual champion after shooting rounds of 83 and 42 to finish at 17-over par 125 on the par-72, 6,487-yard course.Along with the Ashford team, McDonald also qualifies individually for the NAIA championships.
IWC finished with a team score of 640 in its final tournament of the season. The Tigers were led by Kayla Bishop
), who finished with rounds of 103 and 51 for 154 to place 26th. Melissa Petersen
) tied for 29th with a score of 157, with Stevie Schrier
(Jr.-Columbus Junction, Iowa
) 35th at 162. Gabby Combs
) tied for 41st with a score of 167 and Michelle Lox
) tied for 43rd at 169.
Grand View won its second consecutive MCC men's championship, making it look easy in tough conditions and running away from the field. GVU finished with a 45-hole total of 758, 36 strokes ahead of runner-up St. Ambrose and clinching the MCC's automatic bid to the NAIA Men's Golf National Championships at TPC at Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. St. Ambrose edged Viterbo by one stroke for third place, while Mount Mercy University was fourth at 804.
Grand View, ranked fifth in the latest NAIA rankings and one of three MCC teams in the top 25, placed all five players in the top seven individually. No Viking shot higher than 79 during the two 18-hole rounds on the par-72, 6,487-yard course.
Derrick Meier of Viterbo won medalist honors with a three-round score of 7-over par 175 and as the conference champion qualifies individually for the NAIA championships. The men's tournament was shortened from 54 holes to 45, as weather disrupted play on both days, including snow on the ground Saturday morning which pushed back the start of play several hours.
IWC was led by Emery McGraw
), who placed 18th with a 45-hole score of 207, including a round of 80 on Saturday that was the Tigers' top 18-hole round. Zach Hale
) tied for 31st with a score of 218 that included a second round score of 36 over nine holes, the top score of any golfer in the second round.Ryan Grun
(So.-Kansas City, Mo.
) and Zach Nixon
) both tied for 33rd with scores of 219. Clint Phelps
) rounded out Wesleyan's results with a score of 231 to place 39th individually.
The Tiger men have several tournaments left in their season, including the Clarke University Spring Invitational on Tuesday at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Galena, Ill.