Another highly successful season came to an end for Lee Director of Golf John Maupin and his Flames on Thursday morning in the quarterfinal round of match play in the NCAA Division II National Golf Championship at the Avalon Lakes Golf Course.
After pulling off the epic comeback and finishing in a tie for third place after 54 rugged holes on Wednesday, Lee fell to Nova Southeastern (Fla,) 3-2. The Sharks advanced to the semifinals and will face rival Barry (Fla.) who breezed past Sonoma State (Calif.) 4-0-1.
“Today was a hard-fought match.
Nova Southeastern has a great team,” pointed out Maupin. “This format makes every match a battle, and it is just a matter of a stroke or two going the other way. I could not be prouder of our team and the season they have had. It is so hard to just make it to this point, and they are the only program in the country to make it here three years in a row. It is truly an outstanding accomplishment.”
Five Flames participated in head-to-head action on Thursday. Beck Burnette concluded his Lee career with an impressive win over Joseba Torres. Sophomore Bennett McNabb gave the Flames their other point with a victory over Daniel Celestino. Oliver Lewis-Perkins took his match down to the final hole before falling to Josep Serra. Dalton Chuba was defeated by Mike Hay. Dustin DeMersseman, who battled to fight through injury problems, was beaten by Will O’Neill who put the Sharks over the top.
“I want to give a sincere and heartfelt thank you to Connor (Pollman), Dustin, and Beck. They are three of the most wonderful young men a coach could ever ask to be around,” the emotional Maupin added. “They leave here as champions in every sense of the word. Their hard work and selflessness leave a legacy that will not be soon forgotten. They won a conference championship, a regional championship, and a national championship, which puts them in a very select group of NCAA athletes.”
The director of golf concluded, “I want to thank everyone who followed along with us this post-season. We are grateful for your support. Lee University is a special place, and we are proud to represent it.”
In other early Thursday action, Oklahoma Christian continued to roll with a 3-1-1 victory over Simon Fraser (British Columbia) and West Florida earned the right to face Oklahoma Christian with a 3-1-1 decision over Grand Valley State. The semifinal rounds continued Thursday afternoon with the new national champion to be crowned on Friday.