FLORENCE, Ind. — The University of Rio Grande posted an eighth-place finish as a team, while sophomore Jarod Lemaster (Jackson, OH) finished as part of a tie for third individually following Tuesday’s final round of the 2019 River States Conference Men’s Golf Championship at Belterra Golf Course.
The RedStorm, who went from seventh place after 18 holes to sixth place at the conclusion of 36 holes, fired a 43-over par total of 327 on Tuesday and dropped a pair of positions, finishing eighth with a 102-over par total of 954.
Brescia University made it back-to-back conference titles, going wire-to-wire in first place to best the field of 11 schools.
The Bearcats finished off the title with a score of 308 in the final round to defeat Asbury University by five shots. The Eagles made a charge with a 301 over the final 18 holes, but it was not enough to overcome a nine-shot deficit heading into the final day.
Midway University finished third at 71-over par 923.
As a result of its championship, Brescia advances as the RSC’s automatic team qualifier to the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship, May 21-24, at Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.
Brescia head coach Jason Cox was also named RSC Coach of the Year.
Also heading to the NAIA national tournament as the conference’s individual qualifier and championship medalist is IU East’s Tyler Pearson.
Pearson fired an even-par 71 on Tuesday to win by three shots and punch his ticket to nationals. He was also named the RSC Men’s Golfer of the Year to lead the All-RSC First Team selections. Pearson’s tournament scorecard read 74-73-71 for 5-over par over 54 holes.
Trevor Brown (74-75-72) of Brescia took individual runner-up honors and also earned a spot on the All-RSC First Team.
Lemaster, who had the top low-round of the tourney with a 1-under par 70 over the second 18 holes, carded a 6-over par 77 on Tuesday to finish at 10-over 223 and tie Point Park’s Gage Basiletti, 36-hole leader Noah Lung of Cincinnati Christian and Asbury’s Victor Vargas for third place.
Lemaster’s effort helped him join Pearson and Brown on the All-RSC first team list. The group also included Brescia’s Steven Zehr – who was named the RSC Men’s Golf Newcomer of the Year – and IU Kokomo’s Sam Seagrave.
The All-RSC Second Team included Brescia’s Daniel Steele, Asbury’s Gavin Smith and Marcos Ezcurra, Midway’s Austin Mitchell and Matt D’Amico from Point Park.
All-RSC honors were determined by the lowest four rounds combined from the RSC Men’s Golf Fall Preview and the RSC Championship in the spring. Players needed to participate in both events to be eligible.
Among the others who represented Rio Grande were freshman Levi Chapman (Pomeroy, OH), who finished 31st at 30-over par 243; junior Logan Sheets (Bidwell, OH), who was part of a three-way tie for 37th at 34-over 247; freshman Colton Blakeman (Piketon, OH), who was one of three players tied for 40th at 35-over 248; and freshman Payton Bentley (Peebles, OH), who placed 46th with a 45-over 258.
Also named was the RSC Men’s Golf Champions of Character Team, which identified one player from each school who best embodies the five character values of NAIA Champions of Character, which are respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.
Lemaster also represented Rio Grande on that list.
The RedStorm will close out their 2018-19 schedule at the Denison University Invitational, April 27-28, in Granville, Ohio.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.