Photo courtesy of Scott Fjelstul
In their last tournament before the American Rivers Conference Championships, the Luther men’s golf team defeated eleven other teams to claim the team title at the Loras Spring Invitational on April 17 and 18. The Norse won with a team score of 595, while the University of Dubuque came in second with 597, and host Loras College placed third with 611. The tournament was held at two courses. Day one was played at Woodbine Bend Golf Course in Stockton, Illinois, while day two was played at Thunder Hills Golf Course in Peosta, Iowa.
Three Luther golfers posted top-10 finishes in the invitational. Ben Phipps (‘22) finished in first place, carding a 69 on day one and a 75 on day two, for a total score of 144. Phipps won the tournament by one stroke over Dubuque’s Jordan Elliott and his Luther teammate Jay Fjelstul (‘24), who each tied for second by shooting at 145. Additionally, Brandon Dorans (‘23) placed fourth with a score of 147.
Luther Men’s Golf Head Coach Scott Fjelstul (’83) believed the meet was more manageable for his players because they didn’t have to battle the weather. Previous meets this season have had adverse conditions, such as winds reaching 25 miles per hour, but the Norse faced no such issues at the Loras invitational. However, according to Fjelstul, there were still other challenges Luther had to deal with.
“While [playing on two golf courses] is standard for competitions, it was a challenge to play [Woodbine] because we had not faced it before,” Fjelstul said. “We played really well [at Woodbine], very methodically.”
Dorans was also pleased with his performance and those of his teammates throughout the weekend, and had a lot of confidence in the Norse’s chances at the season-ending tournament.
“I think by winning last week we got some good momentum going into [the A-R-C tournament],” Dorans said. “We’re all playing really solid, just trying to peak at the right time, so I’m excited, everyone else on the team is excited, and I think we’ll be ready to go.”
The American Rivers Conference Tournament will be held from Thursday, April 29 to Saturday, May 1, at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, Iowa. Play will begin at 10 a.m. daily. The tournament winners will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf National Championships at Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia on May 11-14.