April 24, 2013
CHICAGO - The Loyola University Chicago men's golf team will attempt to defend their Horizon League title at the 2013 Horizon League Men's Golf Championship meet this weekend.
Opening round play is scheduled to begin on Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. on the renowned El Campeón course at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. 18 holes will be played each day, concluding with Sunday's final round. 2013 marks the third consecutive year that Howey-in-the-Hills will play host to the league championship. Live scoring will be available throughout the entirety of the tournament at Golfstat.com.
"After last year's great showing, we're all excited to be back in Florida," said Loyola head men's golf coach Adam Kwiatkoski. "The guys are playing great right now and it's definitely an advantage to get down to some warmer weather. With all of the great experiences we've had here, it's a little bittersweet knowing that this will be the last time we'll be part of the tournament but we're ready to go out and live up to our billing as the number one seed."
Last year, Loyola won its first Horizon League title in program history and secured the program's first NCAA Regional birth as well. The Ramblers 54-hole total of 909 (314-291-304) was just low enough to edge out Green Bay for the tournament championship. Junior Alex Cusumano (78-76-70) was Loyola's top performer as he finished tied for second-place. Fellow junior Nick Willenborg (75-75-77) and sophomore Nick Dennis (77-74-76) finished tied for sixth after posting identical scores of 227.
The trio own the top-three per-round averages on the team and all three upperclassmen will be hoping to improve on their performances from last season as Loyola looks for back-to-back league titles. Senior Brian Van De Motter and freshman PJ Riner will join them this weekend. Both will be making their respective debuts at the league meet. The five have been coach Kwiatkoski's most reliable performers throughout the spring season. Loyola will face stiff competition from traditional Horizon League powers Cleveland St., Detroit and Wright St., all of which appear in the latest Golfstat NCAA rankings.
The winner of the Horizon League Championship will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals. This year's regionals will be played from May 16-18 at a handful of sites, including Baton Rouge, La., Tallahassee, Fla., Columbus, Ohio, Fayetteville, Ark., Pullman, Wash. and Tempe, Ariz.