National Stage

Colorado Christian Univ. men advance to NCAA DII national title match and guarantee themselves the best men’s DII national finish ever for a Colorado team; Westminster’s Jessica Mason places 8th in women’s DIII nationals

By Gary Baines – 5/24/2024

Colorado Christian University is already guaranteed the best team finish ever by a Colorado-based school in the men’s NCAA Division II national golf championships. Now all that’s left is determining whether the Cougars will be national champions or runners-up.

Meanwhile, also on Friday, Westminster resident Jessica Mason placed eighth in the women’s NCAA Division III national tournament a year after placing 25th in the same event.

Here are some of the local highlights at the two national championships:

— Men’s NCAA DII tournament in Winter Garden, Fla.: Colorado Christian defeated two Oklahoma schools on Friday — third-seeded Central Oklahoma in the quarterfinals and second-seeded Oklahoma Christian in the semifinals, both by 4-1 scores, to earn a spot in Saturday’s national championship medal-match play finale. There, the Cougars will face fifth-seeded North Georgia, which came into the tournament as the top-ranked team in men’s DII golf. North Georgia defeated Coker 4-1 in the quarters and West Texas A&M 2-1-2 in the semis on Friday.

Whatever the outcome on Saturday, CCU will post the highest men’s DII finish ever for a Colorado school. The previous best were a pair of fifth-place showings — by Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2022 and by Fort Lewis in 2011. The only previous time Colorado Christian has gone to the NCAA DII nationals, the Cougars finished 16th in 2018.

Colorado Christian has claimed four team titles so far this season, including the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship, and now will look to add the grandaddy of them all from the NCAA DII perspective.

Adam Duncan, Bradley Mulder and Peyton Jones won both of their individual medal-match play matches on Friday for CCU, while teammates Xavier Bighaus and Dylan Arthur each went 1-1.

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 team matchup.

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

— Women’s NCAA DIII tournament in Nicholasville, Ky.: After transferring from Pomona Pitzer to Trinity University in San Antonio in the middle of the season, Mason moved up the scoreboard each day and tied for eighth individually on Friday at the women’s DIII national championships.

Mason was a standout junior player in Colorado in 2021 and ’22, winning the 4A girls state high school individual title by 10 strokes and the Colorado Junior PGA Championship three years ago, and prevailing at the prestigious Women’s Western Junior in ’22. She graduated from Holy Family High School.

The Coloradan recorded scores of 77-74-72-74 in Kentucky to end up at 9 over par, nine strokes behind individual champion Alison Takamiya of George Fox University. Mason’s Trinity squad placed 11th in the team standings as Carnegie Mellon took home the national title.

Mason was named a second-team All-American in women’s DIII this season. She was a first-teamer last season at Pomona Pitzer.

For all the scores from Kentucky, CLICK HERE.