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Golf Team Logs Season of Firsts

The 2013 St. Norbert College men’s golf team will be remembered for its season of firsts. On May 4, the Green Knights took home the college’s first-ever Midwest Conference Championship by finishing five shots ahead of runner-up Monmouth College in the three-day tournament at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford, Ill. 

“Last year, after the second day, we were in the lead,” says St. Norbert head coach Tripp Maher ’80. “Carroll University, the two-time defending conference champions, made a run. They made a run again this year, but we had a 15-stroke lead on them going into the final day.”

St. Norbert finished in a tie for second place in 2012.

In addition to this season’s team victory, Nic Vrubley ’14 became the first player in program history to win an individual Midwest Conference Championship. Vrubley finished eight over par to win by three strokes.

“Nic played fabulously, especially considering the weather,” says Maher. “The rainy conditions were difficult and delays can really destroy your momentum. We were only able to get nine holes in on Friday.”

Jacob Hebbard ’14 also captured All-Midwest Conference honors. Hebbard finished tied for fifth place. The top 10 players earn all-conference recognition. Nick Roelse ’15 finished tied for 11th place, Brandon Gries ’14 tied for 15th, Nick Mueller ’16 tied for 19th and Evan Mass ’15 finished 21st to complete the conference championship effort. The team adapted to a lineup change when Sam Dougherty ’15 was unable to play due to a death in the family.

“That was a tough situation for him,” says Maher, who won conference coach of the year honors in 2012. “Sam had been playing really well.”

St. Norbert has been a part of the Midwest Conference for men’s golf since 1983. 

“When I was here, St. Norbert was an independent,” explains Maher, who was a four-year letter winner and two-year team captain. “We played in tournaments, but our season would just all of a sudden end. Now you are playing and building for a conference championship and an opportunity to go to the NCAA Championship. Winning conference this year should help us in recruiting.”

St. Norbert advanced to the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship, May 14-17, at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. The top five finishers at the conference meet played for the Green Knights in Florida. The squad shot a combined 659 for the first two rounds and failed to make the 15-team cut. The field consisted of 41 teams.

June 4, 2013