Monday, May 20, 2013

DESTIN, Fla. –- The UT Tyler men’s golf team shot a 5-over par on the fourth day of the NCAA tournament for a total 1,167 to win the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship on Friday at The Raven Golf Club at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. It is the first NCAA title in UT Tyler’s history.

The Patriots (293-286-299-289—1,167), coached by King Campbell, prevailed by seven strokes over Transylvania (288-291-297-298) for the crown. UT Tyler started the final round two strokes back of the Pioneers at the par-71 course, but fought back to win by seven strokes.

“They are just a great story,” Campbell said. “They just played with a confidence that there was nothing left to lose — we barely got in the tournament — and these kids just didn’t give up. They just didn’t give up.”

Freshman Buddy Hallman led the way for UT Tyler, finishing as the individual runner-up. Hallman posted a card of 75-70-70-72—287, finishing four strokes away from medalist Brad Shigezawa of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Senior Joey Rippel finsihed at +9 for the tournament, closing out a great career that started with much adversity.  In high school, Rippel was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and endured rounds of chemotherapy.  As of today, the senior is five years cancer free and a national champion.

Teammate Trent Boudoin finished +10 for the tournament, good enough for a 19th-place finish.  Boudoin started the Spring just trying to get back in playing shape after breaking his wrist during Christmas break.  The junior from Port Aurthur played the first few tournaments of the year on the jv squad, but worked his way back to top form.

John Dukes also closed out a fantastic career with the Patriots, shooting a combined 299 for the tournament, good enough for a 27th place tie.  The senior, who was named American Southwest Conference Golfer of the Week numerous times in his two-year career, helped steady the Patriots on the first two days of the tournament, shooting 70 and 72 over the first half of the tourney.

Sophomore Dayton Cargill, who had struggled earlier in the week, might have been the key to the Patriots championship-run, shooting a team low 70 on the final day, helping to vault the Patriots into first-place.  Cargill, who is in his first year with the Patriots transferred from Abilene Christian and has now helped his team to a national title.

The win is almost bittersweet for UT Tyler, with head coach King Campbell planning to retire at season's end.  The first full-time golf coach in UT Tyler history has won two ASC Championships with the men and reached four national tournaments, and now one national championship.

For more on the 2013 NCAA DIII Men's Golf Championship, read more from Denise Maloof