Sand Sharks miss cut, but Thomas surges to T-13 at NAIA nationals


Jacob Thomas put it all together to cap off a tremendous season at USCB, scoring a 13th-place finish to lead the Sand Sharks at the 2021 NAIA Men’s Golf Championship from Tuesday through Friday at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois. 

The junior played solid golf to start the tournament, posting a respectable 3-over 74 on the opening round before shooting a 75 to earn a tie for 25th place and qualify as an individual for the final two rounds. Thomas saved his best golf for last, firing a 1-over 72 in the third round followed by an even-par 71 to finish in a tie for 13th place. 

After a spectacular eagle on the par-5 17th put the finishing touches on a strong third round, Thomas added three birdies on his best outing of the tournament Friday to lock down the top-15 finish. 

USCB fell short of making the cut as a team, finishing 25th out of 30 squads in the national tournament. After an 80 got things started in round one, Dawson Peters rebounded with a solid 75 to close out his stellar senior campaign. Jonas Demant finished just a stroke behind Peters with a 156 (80-76), Christoph Hagenauer recorded a 158 (81-77), and Skyler Sicoli rounded out the lineup with a 161 (84-77). 

Dalton State took home the national title in a dramatic one-stroke victory over Texas Wesleyan with a 72- hole score of 1171, and Corey Matthey of Morningside College captured the individual championship with an outstanding 4-under 280. 

Despite the tough outing in the final event of the season, Peters earned another honor Saturday with a spot on the NAIA PING All-America First Team from the Golf Coaches Association of America. The Sun Conference Golfer of the Year finishes the season with three individual tournament wins, a team-low 72.86 scoring average, and an incredible 19 finishes inside the top-15 over his last 20 tournaments. 

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