Tandy Leads After Round 1 at National Championships; Harding Men Fifth
WARREN, Ohio – One day after receiving the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award for having the highest GPA among the golfers at the 2023 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship, Harding junior Sam Tandy posted another number – 66 – that represented the lowest score among the 108 golfers in competition in Monday’s first round at Avalon Lakes Golf Course.
Tandy littered his round with the exceptional. He eagled the par-5 third hole, his school record eighth eagle of the season. Tandy got in red numbers to stay with a birdie on No. 7. But he was on full sizzle for the last seven holes, birdieing five of them. Tandy was the only golfer in the field to shoot a 3 on the par 4, 18th hole. Tandy rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the hole, about which the course website says, “Sometimes making 5 is good enough.”
Harding’s team, playing its first ever round in the national tournament, made an impressive showing. The squad sits fifth after shooting even par 288. The Bisons are just four strokes behind the tournament leaders, Missouri S&T at 4-under 284.
The top eight teams after three rounds of stroke play will advance to match play later in the week to determine the national championship.
Joining Tandy with a strong showing, Leo Maciejek shot 1-under 71. He sank four birdies and is tied for 15th. Manuel Cue Vargas is tied for 32nd at 1-over 73, making four birdies of his own. Caleb Nichols shot 6-over 78, also with four birdies, while Jake Croshaw fired an 11-over 83.
Tandy’s 66 was a career best, topping his previous best of 67. His 6-under round marked the eighth time in Harding’s program history that a golfer shot 6-under or better, with the last occurrence being Vargas’ 6-under round in the 2022 GAC Preview. Additionally, Tandy broke the school record for rounds of par or better in a season, recording his 14th such round. He also set a school record by notching 114 birdies in a single season.
As a team, Harding’s even par score of 288 was the team’s eighth round of par or better this season, tying the school record set by last year’s team.
Harding’s second round begins Tuesday at 12:05 p.m. The Bisons are paired with Simon Fraser and Lee University. Tandy tees off at 12:49 p.m.
Tandy wins Elite 90 award for NCAA Division II men’s golf championship
SEARCY – Sam Tandy, a junior at Harding University, is the recipient of the Elite 90 award for the 2023 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship.
Tandy, majoring in finance, currently carries a 3.98 GPA. Tandy was presented with the award during the men’s golf banquet on Sunday evening in Warren, Ohio.
The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.
Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above academically who have participated in a sport for at least two years with their school. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.
Tandy and the Bisons open play at the Championship on Monday, with fifth-year senior Jake Croshaw teeing off first at 8:25 a.m. It is the first national tournament for the Harding men’s golf team, who earned a spot in the field with a playoff victory last week at the Midwest/Central Regional in Winona, Minnesota.
Tandy is the second Harding athlete to receive the Elite 90 award, joining women’s track and field’s Ewa Zaborowsk in 2015.
For more information on the Elite 90 award winners, log on to https://www.ncaa.com/elite-90.
Harding Golfers Jake Croshaw, Sam Tandy Earn Spots on Division II PING All-Central Region Team
SEARCY – Harding University’s men’s golf team celebrated the selection of fifth-year senior Jake Croshaw and junior Sam Tandy to the Division II PING All-Central Region Team on Thursday. Croshaw and Tandy join an elite group of Harding golfers, becoming the third and fourth players in the program’s history to earn PING All-Region honors, following in the footsteps of Alex Williamson (2017) and Mason Banger (2018).
Hailing from Loughborough, England, Croshaw boasts an impressive 73.50 stroke average, the second highest on the team. Throughout the season, he has triumphed over 76.3 percent of his opponents across 18 rounds in seven tournaments. Notably, Croshaw’s career stroke average of 75.65 ranks 12th in program history.
Meanwhile, Tandy, a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, led the team with a stellar 72.53 stroke average. He achieved par or better in eleven of his 30 rounds and secured top 10 finishes in seven out of eleven tournaments. Tandy’s career stroke average of 73.31 sets the standard for Harding’s golf program.
The duo is part of Harding’s team that will compete May 22-25 at the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships in Warren, Ohio.
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