April 29, 2012
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - After making up a 13-stroke deficit yesterday to take over first place, the Loyola University Chicago men's golf team held on to capture the Horizon League Championship today by posting a team score of 304 to finish with a 909, which put them two shots ahead of Green Bay (911). The victory earns the Ramblers, who had never finished higher than tied for third (2006), their first-ever NCAA tournament berth as they claimed the Horizon League title for the first time in school history.
"We were disappointed with our play in the first round because we knew we were better than that," Loyola head coach Adam Kwiatkoski said. "But overall, we got contributions from every single person in the lineup this weekend. Saturday was the first time in two years at this course that we shot under 300 and it was a great comeback. Today, Alex (Cusumano) played as well as he has all year and really stepped up for us. I'm really happy for the guys and to have three of our five players be named to the all-tournament team is a testament to their heard work and perseverance."
Yesterday, the Ramblers overcame a 13-shot deficit to take a two-stroke lead over Green Bay, and both teams shot identical scores of 304 today. The top four teams wound up separated by a mere nine strokes.
Loyola sophomore Alex Cusumano (78-76-70=224), an All-Horizon League selection this spring, finished tied with Cam Fuller of Green Bay (74-76-74=224) and Andrew Wegang of Butler (74-78-72=224) for second place with a 54-hole score of 224. Cusumano closed out the tournament by shooting a two-under-par 70 today and recorded four birdies today to finish the tournament with seven birdies. Chad Ebert of Green Bay earned medalist honors with a three-round score of 222 (74-76-72).
Freshman Nick Dennis (77-74-76) and sophomore Nick Willenborg (75-75-77) each tied for sixth with identical scores of 227 to help lead the Ramblers. Senior Erik Hoops and sophomore Sean Hickey were as responsible for the amazing comeback as anyone as they each shot one-under 71s yesterday to spearhead the Ramblers' rally. Hoops wrapped up the tournament tied for 25th with a 236 (84-71-81), while Hickey placed tied for 34th with a 240 (88-71-81).
Cusumano, Dennis and Willenborg were named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team along with Wegang, Jonathon Riemer (Cleveland State), Lucas Kim (Detroit), Michael Nedoszytko (Detroit), Ebert, Fuller, and Cody Fixari (Wright State).
Loyola awaits word of its destination for the NCAA Regional, which will be played May 17-19. The NCAA selection show will take place on May 7 at 9 p.m., Eastern on ncaa.com.
Horizon League Men's Golf Championship Final Results
1. Loyola - 314-291-304=909
2. Green Bay - 301-306-304=911
3. Cleveland State - 304-308-303=915
4. Detroit - 303-307-308=918
5. Wright State - 318-307-299=924
6. Butler - 315-303-309=927
7. Valparaiso - 304-310-314=928
8. Youngstown State - 315-314-300=929