MILAN, Ill. - This weekend's Augustana Invitational proved to not only be the best team result for the Ashford men's golf team, but also included the team's first medalist of the season.
Junior and Muskegon, Mich.-native Dan Balgooyen won a three-way sudden death playoff with a birdie on the first hole to take the top spot, leading the Saints to a third place finish.
Balgooyen finished with a +4 146 (72-74), and with the win he gains a big boost of confidence heading into the conference championships.
"It was great to see Dan get the individual title," Head Coach Josh Heiple said. "He handled the pressure of the playoff and made a nice birdie. This should put him in a great frame of mind heading into conference next weekend."
Balgooyen wasn't the only member of the Saints that finished in single-digits, as Chien Hau Tan came in a tie for ninth, finishing four shots back of the top spot with a 150 (77-73).
Junior Trent Specht was next for the Saints, coming in a tie for 38th after carding a 158 (82-76). Rounding out the Saints' scoring was junior Ross Milne (79-80) and freshman Ryan Hilton (82-77), who tied for 42nd with a 159.
As the season has gone on, the goal for the Saints has been to be at their best for Conference play. With Balgooyen and Tan leading the charge, they may be doing just that.
"As a team we have talked all season about working to be our best next week," Heiple said. "I think we are starting to peak but will need everyone's best if we are going to upset Grand View. It should be a great week of prep as we see if we are up to the challenge."
The regular season will come to a head next weekend (Apr. 20-21), when Ashford heads back to Blue Top Ridge G.C. for the MCC Championships.