Just Barely

CSU-Pueblo men eke out a berth to NCAA Division II national tourney; Andrew Ni places fourth individually at regional

By Gary Baines – 5/8/2021

It was a nail-biter, but the Colorado State University-Pueblo men’s golf team will be competing in the NCAA Division II national championship.

The Thunderwolves qualified by a very slim margin — one stroke — on Saturday at the NCAA DII West/South Central Regional in DuPont, Wash.

After a back-and-forth final round in which CSU-Pueblo was inside and outside the top four teams — which was how many advance to nationals — the Thunderwolves finished fourth, one shot ahead of fifth-place Montana State-Billings and two ahead of sixth-place Oklahoma Christian.

CSU-Pueblo finished with an 18-over-par total for three rounds, eight strokes behind regional champion Texas A&M-Commerce.

Thus the Thunderwolves extended their season as they will compete May 17-21 at the NCAA DII national tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

CSU-Pueblo junior Andrew Ni, who took a two-stroke lead into round 3, tied for fourth individually out of 86 players. He closed with a 2-over-par 74 to post a 2-under total of 214, ending up three strokes behind individual champ Thomas Jenkins of Sonoma State.

Joining Ni on the national-qualifying CSU-Pueblo team were redshirt freshman Jamie Roberts (15th place, 221), junior Nathan McCann (43rd place, 226), junior Clay Kucera (48th place, 227) and freshman Matt Millar (51st place, 228). The Thunderwolves and Ni swept the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference team and individual titles last month. Ni (Scotland), Roberts (Scotland), McCann (Ireland) and Millar (England) are all from Great Britain and Ireland, while Kucera is from Chaska, Minn.

Meanwhile, Colorado Mesa finished 10th in the 16-team field Saturday at 34 over par. Freshman Pablo Diaz paced the Mavericks, tying for 21st place at 222.

For all the scores from the DII West/South Central Regional, CLICK HERE.