LUBBOCK, Texas – The Eastern Wyoming College men’s golf team set a new high mark at the NJCAA National Golf Championships in Lubbock last week.
Going into the 2021 championships, the Lancers had tallied a school-best 13th place finish. This year, they bettered that mark by one spot.
The Lancers went in the last day of the tournament with the possibilities of finishing as high as 11th or as low as 14th.
“We left some shots out there, but I think all the teams can say that,” EWC coach Zack Smith said. “Overall, we definitely had a good week. I’m proud of the guys.”
For the tournament, the Lancers combined for a 65-over par, 1,217 over the four days.
Leading the way, individually, was sophomore Tomas Kubata, who finished the week eight-over par 296 to place tied for 33rd.
“Tomas has been that guy for us since he’s gotten here,” Smith said. “He’s never too high or too low. He’s super consistent and plays his own game.”
He parred the last 10 holes of the tournament.
“I came in with him on his last two and a half holes. His last two holes, he canned 15-footers on each hole to save par and keep the par streak going,” Smith said. “He’s a great young man and will be missed.”
Of the five members of the team, Kubata was the only sophomore on the squad.
“It’s fun to watch to these guys take all of this in when we get there. This is the big leagues. It was fun to see how everyone handled it, and I think we did some good things,” Smith said. “I think we can improve on some things. We have a good foundation. We just need to keep on trucking.”
Freshman Brendan Thomas finished 36th overall with a four-day total of 11-over par 299, while freshman Russell Sprecher finished with a 20-over par 308 to place tied for 61st. Freshman Tim Van Stiphout placed tied for 84th with a 32-over par 320. Freshman Johannes Lindstrom rounded out the Lancer roster with a 40-over par 328 which tied him for 99th.
“It’s a grind,” Smith said of the week-long event. “You play two practice rounds ahead of time. Then you go into that first day.”
After the first day, the Lancers set 10th in the national standings.
“Like I told them, we didn’t win or lose the tournament on the first day,” Smith said. “We still have three more rounds to go. It’s a grind mentally more than anything. Physically, these guys are fine, but staying in it for that many days, to go along with the many ups and downs of each round can be trying. Luckily, we have some pretty mentally sound guys.”
The Lancers finished the year with a regional and district championships, while recording the best finish in school history at nationals.
“It was a special year,” Smith said. “I’m very thankful and very blessed.”