Aurora Men's Golf Takes Aim at NCAA Division III Championships Tuesday

Aurora will play in the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships this week (Tuesday-Friday).
Aurora will play in the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships this week (Tuesday-Friday).

Release courtesy of Aurora University athletics communications

The Aurora University men's golf team is making their third appearance in the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships this week and second in as many seasons after earning the automatic qualification from the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC).

Live Stats for the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships
The full 42-team field was announced May 6 and contains 33 automatic qualifiers with nine at-large selections. Six competitors will play as individuals, rounding out the 216-man field. The national championships will be held May 14-17 at the Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky. 

For the first time in NCAA Division III history, the men's golf national championships will be played in the state of Kentucky. The 2019 National Championships welcomes 42 teams and six individuals for a 72-hole, four-round championship. Round One commences on Tuesday, May 14 with Round two to follow on Wednesday, May 15. Following 36 holes of play, the field will be cut to the top 18 teams and top six individuals. The final 18 teams will vie for the 2019 national championship after four rounds of play on Friday, May 17.

Keene Trace Golf Club is located in Nicholasville, Kentucky, just minutes southwest of Downtown Lexington, Kentucky in the heart of the Bluegrass region. Keene Trace comprises 36 holes, the Champion Trace course and the Keene Run Golf Course. It also serves as the home of the PGA's Barbasol Championship and has hosted prestigious golf tournaments in the past, including the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships in 1993, the USGA Senior Amateur Championship, the Men's and Women's SEC Championships, and the Kentucky Amateur Championship.

Methodist claimed its 12th national title in school history at the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships, finishing 11 shots ahead of runner-up Washington and Lee. Brian Peccie of Washington and Lee earned medalist honors after a three-hole playoff with Logan Young of Concordia University Texas. Peccie and Young both shot a three-under 285 for the tournament before heading to the playoff, where it took a few extra holes to settle the final score. The 2018 championships were played at Grandover Resort, in Greensboro, North Carolina and were hosted by Guilford College and the Greensboro Sports Commission.
The Aurora University men's golf team won the 2019 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Championship, the second consecutive year for AU. The 2019 title came in impressive form as the Spartans shattered numerous team and individual records and winning by 20 strokes. JT Hudson came from behind on the final day to win individual medalist honors after shooting a 70 in the final round. As a team, the Spartans shot a four-under 284, breaking the previous NACC Championship round record by 14 strokes and also set the round relative to par with the -4. Individually, Jackson Fluck shot a five-under (-5) 67 in the final round, breaking the previous NACC Championship round record of 69 and -3.
The team's season-best round of 278 (-4) at the AU Double Gun came to open the 2018-2019 campaign but the Spartans finished the season with rounds of 290 in the third round of the NACC Championship before their record setting final round of 284.  Junior JT Hudson was named the NACC Player of the Year with senior John Torres and junior Noah Hogue joining Hudson in being named All-NACC this season. Head Coach Justin Wyeth repeated as NACC Men's Coach of the Year, his second season coaching AU men's golf. Additionally, he was named the NACC Women's Golf Coach of the Year and now has three NACC Coach of the Year for the AU women' golf team under his belt.

The Spartans will tee off at 12:50 p.m. local time (11:50 a.m. CT) Tuesday on the par-72, 7,190-yard Champion Trace course in a grouping with Stevenson University and Webster University. Wednesday's second round will be held on the par-72, 6,897-yard Keene Run course. Aurora, once again paired with players from Stevenson and Webster, will go off the No. 10 tee beginning at 8:20 a.m. local time (7:20 a.m. CT). 

AU's last appearance in the NCAA Men's Golf Championships came just one year ago when they won the NACC Championship by nine strokes to defeat Edgewood College and end the three-year reign of Wisconsin Lutheran. The Spartans traveled to Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina, and narrowly missed the cut (top 18 teams), finishing 23rd, eight strokes outside the cut with a 615 (307/308). The 23rd-place finish marked the best ever by a Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference school.
The other appearance in the NCAA Championship for AU came in the 2010 season when they won the NACC Championships by ten strokes over Edgewood College.  The Spartans traveled to Hershey, Pennsylvania for the NCAA Men's Golf Championships played at Hershey Links. AU finished the first two rounds with score of 636 (314, 322) but missed the cut by only 10 strokes and finishing in a tie for 28 place. The Spartans are looking to become the first team in the NACC to make the cut and play in Thursday and Friday's final rounds.


Pos. Name Tourn. Rds. Avg. Low 18 Best Finish (Event)
1. John Torres 10 22 76.0 67 1st (AU Double Gun)
2. JT Hudson 11 23 76.3 70 1st (NACC Championship)
3. Noah Hogue 10 22 77.0 70 T-3rd (Wheaton Invite)
4. Jackson Fluck 10 18 77.3 67 9th (Wheaton Invite)
5. Craig Schlegel 11 23 78.2 71 T-6th (Naperville Intercollegiate)



AU is the fourth school in NACC history to represent the league at the NCAA Championships, making its third trip overall and second in as many years.  Due to its provisional status, the conference was not granted an automatic qualifier in 2007 and 2008. AU, Edgewood, MSOE, and WLC have claimed the conference's automatic bids over the past 10 seasons.
2018 - Aurora University (615 - 23rd)
2017 – Wisconsin Lutheran (658)
2016 – Wisconsin Lutheran (638)
2015 – Wisconsin Lutheran (645)
2014 – Edgewood (635)
2013 – MSOE (637)
2012 – Edgewood (642)
2011 – MSOE (612)
2010 – Aurora (636)
2009 – MSOE (620)