For the first time since 1999, the Texas Wesleyan men’s golf team are national champions.
The Rams ended this past weekend’s NAIA Championship nine strokes ahead of Coastal Georgia at Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona. They conquered the hilly desert course with a team score of 1,166 over four rounds.
This was the seventh national championship in school history, the second most ever in the NAIA. Only Oklahoma City, which won in 2018 and finished third this year, has more with 11.
“As I think back over the years of qualifying for the national tournament, I’m most proud of the span of time separating the wins,” Rams head coach Bobby Cornett said. “Twenty-nine years after winning our first national championship, we get one here after being so close many times before.”
Texas Wesleyan has previous championships in 1964, 1969, 1975, 1990, 1995, and 1999. This is the fourth under Cornett, who won his first in 1990.
In addition, the Rams have finished second 10 times and third 10 times, including 2018.
The Rams battled more than just the field of 17 teams en route to this championship, something that makes this title even more special, Cornett said.
“”I’m even more proud of our guys for working through exhausting travel just to make it in time for Round One. After flight cancellations, sleet and snow, we barely made it to Phoenix for Round One,” he said. “The team pushed through exhaustion, stayed focused and came out on top.”
Futa Yamagishi had the low round of the final day for Texas Wesleyan, shooting and even par 71 and climbing 10 spots on the leader board to finish in a share of 26th. The senior from Tokyo, Japan played a spotless back nine and had just one blemish, a bogey on nine that he erased with a birdie on the 120-yard par three seventh. In total, he had 16 pars on the day.
Victor Miron had rounds of 70-70-73-77 to lead the team with a 290 total and an eighth place overall finish. Tyron Davidowitz finished the tournament just outside the top 10 in a share for eleventh with a four-round total of 291. Rowan Lester posted a tournament total of 293, good for a share of the 14th spot.
The Rams finish the 2019 season with six wins, giving them 223 in their history.
Texas Wesleyan individual results
(Par 71, four lowest scores each day comprise the team total)
Victor Miron, 70-70-73-77 = 290, tied for eighth individually.
Tyron Davidowitz, 73-70-75-73 = 291, tied for 11th.
Rowan Lester, 75-70 -71-77 = 293, tied for 14th.
Futa Yamagishi, 76-73-75-71 = 395, tied for 26th.
Declan Kenny, 75-75-79-75 = 304, tied for 48th.
293-283-294-296 = 1166, first place.