Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Pioneers women’s and men’s golf teams earn SBC championships

The Pioneers women’s golf team is rewriting the history of the sport in the Sun Belt Conference. Sophomore Stephanie Sherlock shot a career-low 7-under par 65 April 23 in Muscle Shoals, Ala. She set a conference record with a 54-hole score of 208 for a 10-shot individual victory and led the team to its fifth-consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championship.

It’s the first time a school has accomplished that feat in the annals of the SBC.

DU finished with a 54-hole score of 872 (8-over par), a whopping 42 shots better than second place Arkansas-Little Rock (914). South Alabama (917) finished second and Middle Tennessee (918) and Florida International 918) finished tied for fourth.

Sherlock was dominant on April 23, pouring in seven birdies with nary a bogey in breaking her personal record of 68 and tying the school record set earlier this season. She won her second consecutive SBC title and grabbed her fifth career title in just her second season.

Also playing well for the Pioneers in the tournament was junior Katie Kempter, who shot a final-round even par 72 on April 23 to finish with a 54-hole score of 220 (4-over par) and in a tie for fourth place. Kempter finished 12 shots back of Sherlock.

The Pioneers had its other three players all finish in the top 10, as senior Chelsea Benton shot a 54-hole score of 223 (7-over par) and finished alone in seventh place.

Rounding out DU’s conference-winning scores were freshman Ellie Givens and junior Dawn Shockley, who both finished tied for ninth with 54-hole scores of 227.

The Pioneers won their first conference championship in 2004 and have won each of the last four, breaking Lamar’s conference record of five in a row.

Pioneers men’s golf

The wait is over for the Pioneers men’s golf team. Junior Daniel Wax shot a final round 2-under par 70 to finish second and sophomore Espen Kofstad finished tied for fourth, leading the Pioneers to their first-ever Sun Belt Conference Championship April 23 in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

The Pioneers shot a final round 1-over par 289 for a 54-hole score of 853 (11-under par), holding off a furious final round rally by New Orleans to claim the school’s first-ever SBC championship in men’s golf.

The Privateers shot a final round 8-under par 280 on April 23 but came up just one shot short, finishing with a 54-hole score of 854. South Alabama finished third (856), Western Kentucky fourth (857) and Louisiana-Lafayette, after entering the final round in second place, finished fifth at 863.

“I just couldn’t be more proud of the effort it took for us to win this tournament,” head coach Eric Hoos says. “We’ve come close to winning this before and for us to put it all together and finally win one for our University is really something special for our team. It’s something I’ll always remember.”

Wax was solid all three days for the Pioneers, playing under-par golf in all three rounds to finish with a 54-hole score of 207 (9-under par) and alone in second place, his career low finish. The junior shot a final-round 2-under par 70 April 23 that featured three birdies and just one bogey. In all three rounds, Wax had just three bogeys and 12 birdies.

Johnny Caldwell of South Alabama took medalist honors with a 54-hole score of 205.

Kofstad shot a final-round 4-under par 68 on April 23, moving up one position on the leaderboard to finish in a tie for fourth place with a 54-hole score of 209 (7-under par). His final round 68 was tied with four other players for the second-best round of the day and featured six birdies and just two bogeys.

Next for the Pioneers was senior Scott Tashie, who shot a final round 75 April 23 to finish with a 54-hole score of 219 (3-over par) and in a tie for 22nd place. Junior Jeff Koprivetz finished at 4-over par for the tournament to finish in a tie for 26th and fellow junior Chris Gilman finished tied for 39th to round out DU’s scoring.

With its first-ever conference title, DU secured an automatic berth in next month’s NCAA Regional Championship.

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