Flying Dutchmen Gain Berth in NCAA Division III Golf Tournament
The Hope College men's golf team has received a bid to
compete in the NCAA Division III championship tournament to be
held May 15-18.
The Flying Dutchmen and fellow MIAA member Olivet will join
21 other teams in the four-day, 72-hole tournament at the Bedford
Valley Golf Course in Battle Creek.>
Olivet is serving as tournament host. This is the first
time that the men's Division III nationals have been held in
The Flying Dutchmen, coached by Bob Ebels, will be making
their first visit to the national tournament since 1988.
Members of the team include junior Mike Feyen of East Grand
Rapids (Grand Rapids Christian HS), freshman Everett Leonard of
Kalamazoo (Hackett HS), junior Chris Rutan of Ann Arbor (Pioneer
HS), sophomore Aaron Vandenberg of Holland (Holland HS), and
sophomore Eric Wohlfield of Brighton (Brighton HS).
This spring Hope finished ranked second by NCAA coaches in
the Great Lakes district (Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) behind Otterbein,
Ohio and ahead of Olivet and Ohio Wesleyan.
The Flying Dutchmen will be seeded 13th at the national
tournament among the 23 teams. Otterbein is seed fourth, Olivet
16th and Ohio Wesleyan 18th.
Most of the collegiate golf schedule is played in the fall.
The Flying Dutchmen captured the fall 1999 championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Playing a non-league schedule this
spring, the Dutchmen won a tournament, finished second in two
others and third in a fourth.
The team is led by Wohlfield who has been conference
medalist the past two years. In 1999 he was voted the Division
III Softspikes Freshman of the Year. He competed as an
individual in the 1999 NCAA tournament, finishing 19th in the
field of 120 golfers.
All of Hope's tournament-bound golfers ranked among the top
ten in the MIAA last fall. Wohlfied top the standings with a
tournament round average of 74.0 while Vandenberg was fifth at
77.5, Leonard ranked sixth (78.6) and Feyen and Rutan tied for
This will be Hope's third appearance in the Division III
tournament. The Dutchmen were 17th in both 1987 and 1988.
Ebels has been the team's coach since 1991. He serves on
the NCAA Division III district advisory committee.
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