Written by Frank Rajkowski and Ryan Klinkner ’04 Saint John’s Golf competes in the NCAA Division III Championships Tuesday through Friday, May 10-13, at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida – LIVE RESULTS
A look at Jones: Saint John’s Golf has now earned 19 NCAA Division III National NCAA Division III runs since 2000 and won National Championships in 2007 and 2008.
But despite such a long history of success, it is small Thomas Gotzemeer (Jordan, MN) and his teammates actually entered the National meet last year relatively inexperienced at this level of competition.
Only one player on last season’s roster – then senior Esten Stinsrud 21, who is now helping as an assistant coach – was part of the last SJU to play in the national team in 2019.
This time, though, it’s a different story, and Gotzemeer said it would work for his team when Johnny takes off for the 2022 third-tier meet.
The four-round tournament starts on Tuesday and runs through Friday at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida.
“It’s really the same group that was there a year ago,” said Gotzemeer, whose team finished 15th out of 37 teams in last season’s meet at the Oglebay Resort and Convention Center in Wheeling, Wufa. He’s back with us as an assistant coach. So we all have a pretty good idea of what to expect.”
It’s also helpful if Johnnies could look back at the course on a spring break training trip this past March.
“We were only there a month and a half ago, so we know where everything is,” coach SJU Michael Whitlock She said. “We know halfway where we’re going when we’re walking around. And that really helps increase our comfort level.”
The spring break trip was doubly important because the cold weather this spring allowed Johnny only three competitions to prepare for the Nationals – all of which took place in just four days.
SJU faced Gustavus Adolphus in a double meet on April 21, then hosted the SJU Winter Classic on April 23 at the Sauk Center and the SJU Spring Invitational on April 24 in Monticello.
Johnnies have placed first in the last two events. A student in his second year of study Glavin Shugle (New Ulm, MN) scored seven birds and tied for second with a score of 71 below par at the Winter Classic, and Gottsmer fired two over 73 to tie for third place overall at the Spring Invitational. The two events were originally scheduled as just one two-day tournament, but were split due to bad weather and the need to enter additional competitions.
“I think we played as we had hoped in such a limited (spring) season,” Whitlock said. “We’ve put in some good numbers. Our guys are never satisfied with their way of playing. They always want to do better. But I think we’ve played well overall in some fairly difficult conditions.”
Which made Johnny’s family feel satisfied with their approach to the citizens.
The Perennial Power Methodist (NC) entered the #1 ranked tournament in the latest Bushnell/Golfweek Division III coaches poll, having won the last three tournaments of the regular season—including the 2022 U.S. South American Golf Championships. The Monarchs boast four golfers in Golfstat’s Division III Top 20 Singles Ranking.
Emory (Georgia) is second and Huntingdon (Ala) is third. National title holder Illinois Wesleyan is ranked eighth. The Titans swept the top three at the Illinois College Conference and Wisconsin Championships on April 29-30, led by Medal of Honor recipient Jimmy Morton.
“We’ve seen what it takes to compete nationally and we know this isn’t a very big stage for us,” Gotzemeer said. “Nerves won’t be an issue. We feel we can play with anyone in the country right now. I think the top ten, or even the top five, is a realistic goal.
“And if we put it all together and everyone plays as well as they can, who knows what might happen.”
ALL-MIAC: The 2021-22 All-MIAC Golf Award was announced earlier today (May 9). For SJU, no change, as all five Johnnies earned All-MIAC honors by finishing in the top ten at the MIAC Championship last fall: Nate Locksterkamp (Secondly), Sam Berger (t iv), Glavin Shugle (VI), Blake Schuller (t VII) and Thomas Gotzemeer (The tenth). Gutzmer was named to the MIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
under the radar: SJU received votes in the GCAA Final Poll of the top 25 poll for the regular season and entered the NCAA ranked #29 according to Golfstat (#1 in the region).
Johnnies is currently tied with Aurora (Ill.) for the most championship victories in the third division, seven, and is 11th nationally in both average scoring (73.51) and average touchdown points (78.65). SJU is 6-2 against Gustavus Adolphus, who is 17th by Golfstat and 19th by the GCAA, this season.
SJU’S NCAA History: The Johnnies are making their 19th post-season appearance this week. Among the previous 18 matches, SJU has secured 14 positions in the top 15, including 11 in the top ten. SJU won back-to-back national championships in 2007 and 2008.
The five: The Johnnies are scheduled to send their top five golfers to Florida this week.
1. High School Glavin Shugle (73.3 average)
2. Beginner Thomas Gotzemeer (73.8 on average)
3. High School Nate Locksterkamp (average 74.2)
4. High School Blake Schuller (74.8 on average)
5. High School Sam Berger (75.5 average)
Youth team: As mentioned in the note above, SJU sends a lineup consisting of one freshman and four sophomores to the Nationals. Johnnies has sent five players to the NCAA Championship without a major three times previously, most recently in 2011: 2000 (7th/23 teams), 2002 (8th/23 teams) and 2011 (t3th/40 teams).
field: A total of 221 participants, 43 teams and six individuals, will compete in the 2022 NCAA Championship. Joining Johnnies’ family will be No. 24 Aurora (Ill.), No. 4 Babson (Mass.), Bethany Lutheran, Cabrini (Pa.), No. 5/6 Carnegie Mellon (Pa.), No. 7 Christopher Newport (Virginia), No. 12/13 Claremont-Maud-Scripps (California), Drew (NJ), No. 2 Emory (Georgia), Endicott (Mass.), Farmingdale State (New York), Franklin and Marshall (Pa.), No. 11/13 Greensboro (NC), No. 17/19 Gustavus Adolphus, Hamilton (NY), No. 18 Hampden-Sydney (Va.), Hope (Mich.), No. 3 Huntingdon (Ala.), Huson (Main), No. 8 Illinois Wesleyan, John Carroll (Ohio), No. 20 Kenyon (Michigan), Luther (Iowa), No. 10 Mary Hardin Baylor (Texas), No. 1 Methodist (NC) , New York University, No. 14/15 Oglethorpe (Ga.), Penn State-Altoona, No. 11/12 Piedmont (Ga.), Rosemont (Pa.), St. John Fisher (NY), Saint Joseph’s (Maine), Salem State (Massachusetts), No. 9 Sewanee (Tennessee), Stevens (NJ), Stephenson (Pennsylvania), Transylvania (Kentucky), No. 14/15 Washington and Lee (Virginia), Webster (Mo.), Westminster (Pa.), and No. 16 Willamette (Ore.) and No. 4/6 Wittenberg (Ohio).
The six individuals are Eddie Kufrin V of Lynchburg (Virginia), Joey Harrison of Rensselaer (New York), Cole Yankee of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Jacob Mason of Trinity (Texas), Chase Mouse of Texas Lutheran and Christian Rodriguez of Southwestern (Texas). ).
Shear: The field will be cut to the top 18 teams and six individuals (not playing on one of these teams) after the first two rounds.
Mission in the resort and club: This week’s NCAA Championships will take place at the Mission Inn Resort and Club, which features two courses: El Campeon (par 72, 6748 yards) and Las Colinas (71, 6792 yards). The final two rounds of the tournament will take place at El Campeon.
GC . Champion
El Campeon was built in 1917 and improved in 1926. It is one of the oldest golf courses in the South and mixes unusual elevation changes in Central Florida of more than 85 feet. The stadium’s signature hole is par-5 No. 17, which features a long double dogleg.
GC . Hills
Built in 1992 (Spanish for “hills”), Las Colinas offers a different challenge than El Campeon. It’s an interior links design with wide and wide open walkways, gentle rolling hills and large undulating greens. Its signature hole is Alligator Alley, No. 5 No. 12 which runs 493 yards along a tree-lined walkway and requires absolute precision from the tee to the green.
tee times: The Johnnies are scheduled to play top-ranked Methodist (NC) and No. 9 Sewanee (Tenn.) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Tuesday’s Tour of São Paulo State University is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. ET from #1 on the El Campeon course. Play time Wednesday is 11:45 a.m. ET from No. 10 at Las Colinas Stadium. The kick-off times for Thursday and Friday are based on El Campion, respectively.
SJU Course Records
Hero (No. 72)
-2 – Andrew Longbella, NCAA Championship (May 10, 2005)
-1 — Dennis Granath, Jordan Classic (September 25, 2011)
-1 Josh Sherlin, NCAA Championship (May 10, 2005)
H — Ryan Gallagher, NCAA Championship (May 19, 2017)
H – Sam Olson, NCAA Championship (May 18, 2017)
H – Casey Vangenses, Jordan Classic (September 25, 2011)
H – Josh Sherlin, NCAA Championship (May 9, 2005)
+1 – Ryan Gallagher, Preview Section Three (September 20, 2016)
+1 – Andrew Longbella, NCAA Championship (May 11, 2005)
+2 – Sam Olson, NCAA Championship (May 16, 2017)
+2 – Austin Kotke, 3rd Section Preview (September 19, 2016)
+2 – Kyle Fredrickson, NCAA Championship (May 12, 2005)
The Hills (Bar 71)
-2 — Sam Olson, Preview Section Three (September 18, 2016)
H — Mac Farley, Preview Section Three (September 18, 2016)
+1 – Wes Dickhouse, NCAA Championship (May 17, 2017)