(MESA, Ariz.) – On Friday, the Truett McConnell University men’s golf team wrapped up the final day of the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships at the Las Sendas Golf Club.
The Bears showed their grit in round one and two to make the team cut for the final two rounds of competition tied in 17th. After finishing round three in 21st, TMU brought the heat to move up eight places as they shot a 280 (eight under par), the lowest team score of the tournament, and clinched their spot at 13th overall out of 29 teams. The Bears recorded a 310 in round one, 296 in round two, 301 in round three and 280 in round four, with a final team score of 1,187, a new school record.
This is the first time in program history that the team has made the cut to move on at the national championship, making this years performance the best finish at nationals the program has ever seen.
“I’m extremely proud of this group of guys! Every person on our roster has played a role in making this a special season for us,” said Head Coach Matt Smith. “We have a great group of people on this team and we are going to enjoy the success we had this year. We are all proud of what we accomplished, but are excited to continue building off of this success and make this program one of the best in the country. I cannot wait to see the progress this team continues to make and I’m so blessed to get to be a part of it!”
TMU was featured besting four nationally ranked teams, including No. 9 Wayland University who finished in 14th (1191), No. 8 Taylor University who finished tied in 15th (1196), No. 18 Rocky Mountain College who tied in 15th (1196) and No. 6 University of South Carolina Beaufort who finished in 17th (1207).
Most notable, Jackson Stone, who finished tied in fifth overall out of 95+ golfers, and Peyton Shedd, who finished tied in 14th, were featured earning individual spots on the All-Tournament Team, along with earning individual automatic bids to the 2023-24 NAIA National Championships. Both players have made TMU history by recording two of the highest program individual finishes at the national championship.
Stone led the way for the Bears finishing tied in fifth after shooting a 77 in round one, 68 in round two, 71 in round three, and 69 in round four (three under par) to record the highest individual finish in TMU history. Shedd followed the action tied for 14th after shooting a 72 in round one, 77 in round two, 73 in round three, and cut off five strokes to secure 68 in round four. Caden Sanders tied in 47th after shooting an 81 in round one, 72 in round two, 75 in round three and 71 in round four, while Nate Thornton finished tied for 83rd after shooting an 80 in round one, 79 in round two, 83 in round three and 72 in round four. Michael Osborne rounded out the Bears results tied for 85th after shooting an 82 in round, 81 in round two, 82 in round three and 76 in round four.