HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. – The Purdue Fort Wayne men’s golf team will go to the NCAA Regional for the first time in program history, as the Mastodons won the Horizon League Championship on Tuesday (April 25) with a team score of 870.
The Mastodons will find out where they will go for the regional on Wednesday, May 5. The Selection Show will air on the Golf Channel at 1 p.m.
This will be the program’s second appearance in the NCAA regional, first as a full team. Zach Schroeder played in the NCAA as an individual when he won the Summit League title in 2018.
Kasey Lilly was the Mastodons’ leader all week long. He finished in second place, falling to Wright State’s Tyler Goecke in a two-hole playoff. This is Lilly’s second runner-up finish at the Horizon League Championship. He shot 69-72-71-212 (-4), which is a top-10 mark in program history. Lilly started his final day of the championship with two birdies on the first two holes. He moved back to even with two bogeys, but stayed even for the next five holes with pars from eight to 12. He birdied 13 and 14 before two more pars, then finished bogey, par. Goecke shot a 3-under 69 on his final day, which included a birdie on 18 to force the playoff. He will move on to the NCAA Regional as an individual.
Hunter Mefford moved up two spots on the leaderboard in his final round, turning in a 3-under 69 to finish two shots back of the leaders and take sole possession of third place. His 73-72-69-214 was the best 54-hole score of his career. He was 3-under on the front nine, firing off a bogey-free half round. He opened with four pars, then birdied hole five. After two more pars, he birdied eight, nine and 10 to go to 4-under. Two more pars came before another birdie on 13 that brought him to 5-under.
Lilly and Mefford were named the All-Tournament Team for their top-five finishes.
Sophomore Nick Holder and junior Jadden Ousley tied for 10th with a pair of 222’s. Holder shot 73-74-75-222 to finish in the top-10 for the second time in his career while Ousley shot 75-72-75-222 for his first-ever top-10. Holder’s final round started with three-straight pars. After hole eight, he was bogey-free for the rest of the day. He had eight pars and a birdie on hole 16 for a 1-under back nine. Ousley picked the perfect time for his first-career top-10, as he was one of the four scores taken for the Mastodons each day. His final round started with a birdie and four pars in a row. After a double-bogey on six, he birdied eight to go back to even. On the back nine, he parred 11, 12, 16 and 17, and birdied 14.
Burke Pitz rounded out the lineup, shooting 81-79-80-240 to take 42nd. His final round was bookended with positives. He started birdie, par, par and ended birdie, birdie.
The Mastodons topped league-favorite Wright State by five shots. The ‘Dons were picked fourth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, behind Wright State, Oakland and Northern Kentucky.
Possible sites for the Mastodons’ trip to the NCAA Regional are: Auburn, Alabama; Bath, Michigan; Las Vegas, Nevada; Morgan Hill, California; Norman, Oklahoma; Salem, South Carolina. The NCAA Championship will be in Scottsdale, Arizona.