A red-hot month of April for Ashland University's men's golf team continued on Championship Sunday at the 2019 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships in Battle Creek, Mich.
While the Eagles continued their strong play of late, in the medal match play championship round vs. Ferris State, the Bulldogs were just a little bit better in the end, defeating Ashland, 3-2, for the conference title.
The Eagles, who were seeking their first GLIAC championship, finished as conference runner-up for the fourth time on Sunday (April 21) at Bedford Valley Country Club. The Bulldogs won their first GLIAC title since 2010-11, and their 21st overall.
Medal match play counts all strokes 1-on-1, first golfer vs. first golfer, second vs. second, etc. All-square finishes are counted as half-wins for each team. The team with the most individual victories is declared the winner.
Sophomore Ben Jones won his finals match by three strokes over Thomas Hursey, shooting a 71 after firing a blistering 69 in the semifinals vs. Wayne State and winning by 12 strokes over Austin Alexander.
To get to Sunday afternoon's championship, the Eagles survived in a last-hole comeback against the Warriors in the medal match semifinals, 3-2. Both Kondratick and junior Patrick Steffen were one stroke better than their counterparts on the 18th hole to lift Ashland to the title match.
In addition to the wins by Steffen and Jones and the all-square from Kondratick, redshirt freshman Luke Tanner also tied his match vs. the Warriors.
Ferris State advanced to the final after defeating Grand Valley State, 3-2, in Sunday's other semifinal.
In the last seven team rounds prior to Sunday, Ashland's men had carded an average score of 294.6. Adding up the best four Eagle scores from both Sunday rounds, the team totals would have been 289 in the semifinals and 290 in the finals – which would have been AU's two lowest team rounds of 2018-19.
MEDAL MATCH PLAY FINALS - FERRIS STATE 3, ASHLAND 2
– Austin Kondratick (71) all-square with Jack Weller
– Ben Jones (71) 3-up with Thomas Hursey
– Andrew Hammett 7-up with Luke Tanner (77)
– Cole Smith (73) all-square with Ryan Bayer
– Seth Terpstra 1-up with Patrick Steffen (75)
MEDAL MATCH PLAY SEMIFINALS - ASHLAND 3, WAYNE STATE 2
– Austin Kondratick (71) all-square with Brendan Says
– Patrick Steffen (73) 1-up with Nikolas Senkowski
– Ben Jones (69) 12-up with Austin Alexander
– Grant Haefner 3-up with Cole Smith (81)
– Luke Tanner (76) all-square with Anthony Bolden