Matching Up

Colorado Christian University men advance to quarterfinals of NCAA Div. II national golf championships; CCU’s Adam Duncan places 10th individually

By Gary Baines – 5/23/2024

It was touch and go there for a while on Thursday evening, but Colorado Christian University kept its hopes alive for a men’s NCAA Division II golf national title — and guaranteed itself the best national finish in program history.

With the top eight teams after three rounds in Winter Garden, Fla., advancing to medal-match play, the Cougars dropped to eighth place late in Friday’s round before rallying to finish sixth in the stroke-play portion of the championship.

With that, CCU will face Central Oklahoma, the third-place finisher in stroke play, in Friday morning’s medal-match play quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for Friday afternoon, and the title match for Saturday.

Given that Colorado Christian can now finish no lower than fifth place — if it loses in the quarterfinals — that’s a substantial improvement on the Cougars’ only other trip to nationals, where they placed 16th in 2018.

More importantly, three straight victories in medal-match play on Friday/Saturday would give CCU a national DII men’s golf team title — something no other Colorado-based program has accomplished. In fact, the best previous showing by a Colorado men’s golf team in DII nationals is fifth place — by Colorado State University-Pueblo, which lost in the quarterfinals of the 2022 national tournament, and by Fort Lewis, a quarterfinalist in 2011.

CCU finished even par for the 54-hole stroke-play portion of the event, 14 strokes behind top-seeded West Florida. The Cougars ended up one stroke ahead of the two teams which tied for seventh place (Wingate and West Texas A&M) and five in front of ninth-place Ferris State, which failed to advance to medal-match play.

In medal-match play, individual golfers compete head to head in a match, but on a cumulative-stroke-play basis. Whichever player finishes the round in fewer strokes wins his individual match. There’s five individual matches for each quarterfinal.

Meanwhile, CCU’s Adam Duncan, a junior from Bakersfield, Calif. who has won two titles this season, finished 10th in the individual portion of the national championship, checking in at 4 under par (72-69-68), eight strokes behind individual national champ Wyatt Provence of West Texas A&M.  Finishes for the other Colorado Christian golfers were 29th for Xavier Bighaus (who was tied for second going into the final day of stroke play), 37th for Peyton Jones, 60th for Dylan Arthur and 83rd for Bradley Mulder.

CCU owns four team victories this season, including its first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title.

For all the results from the men’s DII nationals, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. The University of Colorado Evans Scholar alum was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates