INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (April 9, 2013) – After an opening round in fourth place, the Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's golf team drove past two NAIA top-five ranked teams to win the NAIA Classic at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course on Tuesday. In addition, OLLU senior Aaron Flores shot a 4-under-par 140 (73-67) to capture the individual medalist award by three strokes. He was in a tie for ninth place after the first round of play.
OLLU Head Coach Eric Moore said, "This was a big win for us. It was a great field with four teams in the top 11 in the country playing and to win was huge for us and pretty much locked us in for a national championship berth. We played pretty solid the first round but were just unable to get anything out of it and had a seven-shot deficit to overcome. We just played so well in the final round especially with the conditions that we faced. It was calm for about seven holes and then the wind picked up to about 25 miles per hour, so it became very difficult. We just had tremendous effort and execution. Aaron (Flores) played great and picked up the individual win with an incredible 67. Dustin (Blair) and Nick (Chacon) played really well and finished with 71 and 74. Larry (Lopez) struggled a bit the second round but really hung in there and played well down the stretch to give us a 79. It was an all out team effort and a great week. This should propel us into the top five in the country!"
The annual event hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University men's golf takes the golfers inside the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the rest of the course is played next to the iconic track. The great setting for the event always brings top talented NAIA teams from around the country to central Indiana. This year's tournament featured eight ranked programs and four more that received votes in the latest NAIA Men's Golf Coaches' Top-25 Poll. The Saints are ranked No.10 – the next ranking is due April 12.
OLLU won the classic with a score of 589 (298-291) to edge No. 11-ranked Grand View (Iowa) by one stroke as GVU shot a 590 (292-298). No. 4-ranked University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) claimed third place with a score of 593 (293-300) and first round leader and No. 5-ranked Lee (Tenn.) University fell to fourth place with a score of 601 (291-310).
No. 25-ranked Ashford University (299-304) followed in fifth place, and unranked Taylor University (302-309) finished in sixth. Next were No. 15-ranked William Woods University (307-306), unranked Point Loma Nazarene (308-306) and No. 24 Marian (316-300). Southern Welseyan (301-316), Holy Cross College (315-302) and Davenport (303-318) – all receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Poll – followed. Next up were No. 18 Mount Mercy College (317-311), unranked William Carey (313-316) and tournament host Indiana Wesleyan University (RV 3), who shot a two-round total of 632 (318-314) to place 15th in the 18-team field.
Unranked Campbellsville (316-320), Viterbo University (320-316) and St. Ambrose University (322-319) rounded out the tournament.
OLLU's Dustin Blair finished the tournament in a three-way tie for sixth place after shooting a two-round 147 (76-71). Nicolas Chacon ended in a three-way tie for 11th place with a two-round score of 75-74/149. Larry Lopez shot 74-79/153. John Mulholland was only able to participate in the first round, where he shot an 80.
The Saints will be off through April 29, when they will participate in the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament hosted by the University of St. Thomas at the Cypresswood Golf Club in The Woodlands, Texas.
The NAIA Champions of Character program aims to instill five core values in NAIA athletes, coaches: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Our Lady of the Lake University shares and supports these values and strives to promote the Champions of Character program by working with students, coaches through our Champions of Character educational program. For more information on the Champions of Character program, click on the logo below: www.championsofcharacter.org.