IUP struggles at regional championships

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Wednesday proved to be the best day for IUP at the 2016 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Atlantic/East Region Championships at the Timber Banks Country Club.

The Crimson Hawks shot a 17-over 305 after opening the tournament with a 31-over 319 Monday.

The opening round was delayed until the afternoon due to rain and thunderstorms.

Eight teams didn’t completely finishing all 18 holes, while the Crimson Hawks would find themselves in 14th place entering the second day. Michael Hoare (sophomore, marketing) led the way for IUP in the opening round. The sophomore shot a four-over 76. Tuesday, the Crimson Hawks improved by 10 but still found themselves 20 strokes back of the cut line.

IUP shot a 21-over 309 in the second round, led by Max Kirsch (junior, business) who shot a two-over 74. Hoare would follow-up Kirsch by shooting a five-over 77.

With a 52-over 628 after two days of regional play, IUP trailed the leader St. Thomas Aquinas with a 20-over 596 while Southern New Hampshire moved up nine places to second overall at 22-over 598. Brett Geiser (senior/management) made a five-shot improvement on day two of the three-day tournament. Geiser shot a four-over 76 Monday and had a 13-over 157 after day two.

Geiser, finished his last tournament as a Crimson Hawk with an 18-over 234, tying for 49th overall. Josh Bartley (sophomore/business) tied for 89th after the last round with a 31-over 247. Teammate Tyler Erb (sophomore/business) tied for 96th in his first regional competition. Erb would shoot a 33-over 249 for the tournament.

Hoare finished tied for 26th place with a 13-over 229 as this was also his first regional competition. Kirsch led IUP with a nine-over 225 for the tournament and would finish in a tie for 14th place.

As a unit, the Crimson Hawks finished 14th out of 20 teams. IUP shot a 69-over 933 throughout the three rounds. IUP was 24 strokes back of the top-five cut. Those that will be traveling to nationals in Denver include St. Thomas Aquinas, Southern New Hampshire University, Concordia University, Wilmington University and Le Moyne College.

This finish ends an eight-year run of NCAA championship appearances, with IUP last failing to reach the year’s final tournament in 2007. This was the program’s 20th straight regional championship appearance, a streak that began in 1997.