For the second time in four years the Sonoma State men’s golf team will send one individual to compete in the Division II National Championship tournament. This season, it’s senior Brandon Lee that will advance to play at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colorado from May 17 - 19.
“I’m very excited for Brandon, he deserves it being a leader and a senior on our golf team,” said junior Justin Shluker. “I know that he will represent us very well at the championships.”
The dynamic duo that is Lee and Shluker attacked the course last Monday, leading the men’s golf team into the NCAA West Regional at the University Golf Club in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Selected by the conference head coaches, Lee and Shluker were both voted All-CCAA First Team.
“It’s a great feeling to know all of the hard work has paid off, and to be apart of such good company is what really makes it special,” said Shluker.
This is Lee’s third-consecutive year earning all-conference, averaging at 73.36 strokes during the 2015-16 season.
Being the top performer for the Seawolves in last week’s CCAA Championship, Lee was able to maintain a .735 average, holding onto the third-best winning percentage in school history.
It was a tough first round for the Seawolves, finishing out Monday in fifteenth place. Shaken up but not fully rattled, the boys were able to rise into the fifth place spot by the end of the second round on Tuesday.
“We always have good atmosphere and I believe that is why we were able to come back during that second round,” said Shluker.
Even with Lee dropping in a 71-70-68, an eye-popping seven under par which was good enough to land Lee in 2nd place out of 108 competitors, the Seawolves still weren’t able to successfully combat the competition.
“The tournament was a great learning experience for me,” said freshman Spencer Clapp. “It taught me that it truly is never over until you drop the last putt on 54th hole.”
Ending the tournament eighth-place out of 20, the team totalled a final of 878, just scraping ahead of Dixie State with 879. But with a non-qualifying score, the Seawolves hang their clubs as they get ready to cheer on teammate Lee as he battles it out for a national championship.
Senior Nicolas Daniels finishes his final round as a Seawolf with 75-69-76, carding a 220 for the 35th place. Clapp, shooting rounds of 77-71-74, totalled at 222 for the 43rd position on the board. He was followed by Shluker in 80th place with scores of 78-74-76 to total up to 228.
“We told ourselves that we had a hell of a season and we should be more that proud with what we all accomplished,” said Clapp. “Our seniors were one of the reasons why our team had so much success this year.”
Last Wednesday, seniors Daniels and Kenny Maroney played their final round as collegiate golfers.
After his final run for the national championship, Lee will be retiring at the conclusion of his season, as well.
“We have grown over this past year and the journey continues for all of us including them, so we will always be a family for the rest of our lives,” said Shluker.
Look for Brandon Lee as he sets out to bring home a National Championship on May 17 in Denver, Colorado.