UND men’s golf swinging back into action

UND athletic director Brian Faison addresses the media during a press conference. Photo by Nick Nelson/ The Dakota Student

Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

UND athletic director Brian Faison addresses the media during a press conference. Photo by Nick Nelson/ The Dakota Student

Wednesday morning, the University of North Dakota’s athletic director, Brian Faison announced the reinstatement of the men’s golf program.

Men’s golf has been played at UND since 1929 and the 87-year-old program managed to avoid the chopping block after the program achieved the necessary funding from external sources in time for the August 30th budget deadline.

“I want to congratulate the Fore UND Golf Campaign members for getting this fundraising done in such a short period of time,” Faison said. “The way the student-athletes and Coach Swanson have handled an incredibly difficult situation has been impressive.” 

During the spring semester, UND underwent budget restructuring that saw the elimination of the men’s baseball and golf program among other academic programs in a $21.5 million overhaul of the university’s budget.

Willing to consider the possibility of reinstating baseball and golf, Interim President Schafer allowed both programs to develop a plan of action to raise the necessary funding externally to sustain the programs for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years. Unfortunately, the baseball program could not develop a plan to bring in enough revenue to continue.

With the August 30 deadline in mind, the Golf program was required to raise $70,823 to be reinstated for the current school year and by June 1, 2017, the requirement was to raise $73,589 in cash or pledges to continue for the 2017-18 school year.

The plan of action also states there is an endowment that will be required to sustain men’s golf for the school years 2018-2019 and beyond.

With immense efforts from the Fore UND Golf campaign, the required funds to raise were exceeded. Alumni, former letterwinners and friends of the program led the campaign. With the funds secured, Tim Swanson will remain as men’s golf coach and the program will still offer 1.5 scholarships.

“I would like to thank the University of North Dakota, UND Athletics the UND Alumni Association & Foundation, and the Fore UND Golf Campaign for helping the men’s golf program at UND,” UND head coach Tim Swanson said. “The student-athletes are looking forward to getting back on the golf course and competing for the UND Fighting Hawks.”

With the announcement of the reinstatement the roster welcomes two additions, sophomore transfer Ryan Ames and freshman Pat Traynor. Leading the squad as he returns for his senior year is Daniel Sayler.

Looking back on last year, Sayler put on a record-breaking performance with his last time on the course at the Big Sky Championship where the team placed 7th overall.  His run in championship 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.

The reinstatement means that the season is fast approaching. The team will take the first tee off at the Nebraska-Kearney Fall Invitational Sept.12-13 at Axtell, Neb.

Allyson Bento is the Sports Editor for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]