Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's golf team opened action in the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championships on Monday (May 22) by carding a 286 team score and the Bulldogs currently sit seventh overall following the first round at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla.
The Bulldogs shot six-over for round one and are currently 12 strokes off the lead held by Barry (Fla.), which shot an impressive 274 score in round one. West Florida came in second (-4) with Florida Tech third (-3), Florida Southern fourth (even) and Newberry (S.C.) in fifth (+2) with LeMoyne sixth (+3). A total of 20 teams are taking part in the national championships.
Ferris State was led in round one by senior Ben Cook, who shot a two-under 68 and is currently tied for eighth in the field. The individual leader is Florida Southern's John Colts, who shot a 65 in the opening round.
The Bulldogs' Ryan Bayer fired a 76 in the opening round and is tied for 78th overall while Jack Weller shot a 78 and is tied for 98th following the first 18 holes of competition on the course measuring 7,054 total yards.
The Bulldogs are making their 15th all-time national championships appearance and first berth since 2010 after earning runner-up honors at the 2017 NCAA Midwest/Central Super Regional in Axtell, Neb. The finals are being hosted by the Sunshine State Conference and the Central Florida Sports Commission.
At the National Championships, all 20 advancing teams and eight individuals will complete 54 holes of stroke play with a round per day thru Wednesday. Following 54 holes of stroke play, an individual champion will be declared along with finishers 2-10 based on cumulative total score and any applicable tiebreakers. The top eight teams after 54 holes of play will be placed into a bracket and seeded based on 54-hole scores for the medal/match play portion of the competition to determine the team champion.
FSU is being joined at the national championships by Dominican (NY), St. Thomas Aquinas, Charleston (W.Va.), LeMoyne, Central Missouri, Lindenwood (Mo.), Arkansas Tech, West Florida, Florida Southern, Lynn (Fla.), Florida Tech, Barry (Fla.), Newberry (S.C.), North Alabama, Cal-Baptist, Stanislaus State, Cal-State East Bay, Western Washington and Cal-State Monterey Bay.
The 54-hole stroke play portion of the event runs thru Wednesday with the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the Medal/Match competition for those advancing teams taking place on Thursday. The final round of the team competition takes place on Friday.
Ferris State's current 15-year NCAA Championship appearance streak in men's golf ranks as one of the longest active stretches in the country. FSU recorded a school-record seventh-place finish in its last trip to the national championships in 2010.