Walking off the course for the last time

Taking their final swings over the weekend at the Big Sky Championship, the men’s golf team used their final outing to prove just how much talent they have. The tournament was a platform for the team to set some big records.

In the 54-hole tournament, the Fighting Hawks’ team total came in at 885, good for 21 over par, which broke their record set earlier in the season at the Colin Montgomery HBU Husky Invitational by 23 strokes.

“I’m just really proud of this group of young men,” UND coach Tim Swanson said. “I knew what they were capable of doing on a golf course and they picked the right time to play their best.

Senior captains Aaron Pulanco and Jacob Dehne were major factors in the team’s record. Along with junior Daniel Sayler, they were able to achieve even-par scores of 72 in the final round of the tournament. This pushed the Fighting Hawks to break their 18-hole team score with a 290, going two over par, a record that had only been set two days prior in the tournament’s opening day.

“They were an extremely motivated group this week, and to finish the season by breaking the records that we did was a special way to close things out,” Swanson said.

Personal records also were broken over the course of the tournament, starting with Pulanco’s even-par final round that moved his 54-hole total to 220, four over par, for his career best.

Sayler’s record-breaking run in Nevada came by shooting a career-best 72 in the final round and moved his 54-hole personal best to 222, good for six over par. Along with the personal record, Sayler led the pack with 12 birdies at the championship and collected the team’s only eagle that came in the first round of play.

Finishing off his career best, freshman Jeremy Kirk swung for his best 54-hole score of his rookie season by finishing in a tie for 31st at 227 and 11 over par.

Idaho State took first in the tournament for the second consecutive year, as they caught up to Sacramento in the final round and finished with a 271 (-17). UND finished in the seventh spot, just slightly edging Southern Utah in the final round.

This was the last time these golfers would hit the course for UND. As the budget cut announcement in early April revealed, UND men’s golf and baseball programs were cut from the athletics department after the end of this season.

With only two graduating seniors on the team, the future of the remaining players still remains unknown as to where they will go or if they decide to stay a Fighting Hawk.

Allyson Bento is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]