EAGLE, Neb. – Led by Joe Vest’s second-consecutive top-three finish, Midland University’s men’s golf team finished the 2017-18 season with a fourth-place finish at the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championships Monday and Tuesday at Woodland Hills Golf Course. Vest finished in third place just one stroke out of second.
Midland came into the final two rounds of the tournament in sixth place, and for the second straight year, the Warriors were able to climb into fourth place. The first two rounds of the tournament were held in October in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Warriors had rounds of 286 and 301 this week to finish with a total of 1,183.
“I was happy with how we competed this week,” Coach Nick Swaney said. “We let the final nine holes get away from us, but played as well as anyone the first 27. We put ourselves in such a bad spot in the fall that moving up and giving ourselves an outside chance was all we could have asked from the guys.”
Vest, who finished tied for second a year ago, came into the final rounds in ninth place. A 2-under par 69 on Monday moved him up the leaderboard. He shot a 74 on Tuesday for a four-round total of 287 – five strokes behind individual champion Justin Kraft of Northwestern.
“Joe had a great week. He got himself in position to win player of the year late in the final round,” Swaney said. “I know he is disappointed with how he played his last six holes, but I was proud of him this week. He had to play great to get in contention, and he did. He has had such a great career so far. I’m excited to see him take the next step next year.”
Northwestern won the team title with 1,152, followed by Morningside at 1,161 and Doane at 1,174.
Hunter Giesselmann finished tied for 14th place with a four-round total of 298. Garret Giesselmann followed with a 306, and Garrett Josten had a 307.
Earlier this spring, the Warriors set three school records in the Heritage Hill Collegiate. Midland’s 581 at that tournament was the best 36-hole round in school history. Vest set two records in that tournament with a lowest 18-hole round at 65 and the lowest individual 36-hole mark at 138.
“It was great to see the progression of this team,” Swaney said. “We were substantially better this spring than in the fall. That is as much as you can ask from a team, to get better every day and be playing our best at the end of the year.”