Men's Golf Team Earns 19th NCAA Division III Tournament Berth

File Photo/Ryan Baker
File Photo/Ryan Baker

Springfield, Ohio — For the third straight year and the 19th time in program history, the Wittenberg University men's golf team has earned the opportunity to compete in an NCAA Tournament. The Tigers, ranked No. 20 nationally, will compete for the 2012 NCAA Division III title May 15-18 at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.

The tournament, hosted by Oglethorpe College and the Central Florida Sports Commission, will include 41 teams and a total of 210 competitors. The Tigers were one of 31 teams to qualify automatically after winning the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship for the fourth time overall and third straight year.

The national tournament berth is Wittenberg's 18th as a member of NCAA Division III and 19th overall, including the program's first-ever national bid in 1974 as a member of the College Division. A year ago, the Tigers finished 21st in the nation at the 2011 NCAA Division III Tournament, hosted by Greensboro College at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, NC. In 2010, the Tigers finished sixth nationally, just two spots below the program's best NCAA finish of fourth in 1990.

The Tigers are led in 2012 by Craig Osterbrock, class of 2013 from Wilmington, Ohio, who in 2010 became the program's first All-American since Rick Lyons in 1992. Osterbrock, who finished 17th in the 2010 NCAA Division III Championships, added a second straight third-team All-America award in 2011.

Osterbrock has again led the Tigers in 2011-12, topping the team in scoring average at 75.2. He has won three tournaments, including the Maurer-Rosencrans Invitational at Windy Knoll Golf Club in October 2011, and he enters the NCAA Division III Championships riding a wave of momentum after winning both North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship Series events hosted by Allegheny and Oberlin.

Osterbrock swept the NCAC's individual awards, claiming his second consecutive Bob Nye Award as the conference championship medalist to go along with the Dick Gordin Award as the NCAC Player of the Year. With Osterbrock taking the top spot and Alex Andrews, class of 2015 from Kirtland, Ohio, and Jack Uecker, class of 2014 from Akron, Ohio, finishing in a third-place tie at the second NCAC tournament, the Tigers cruised to a 40-stroke victory in the five-round NCAC Championship Series over Ohio Wesleyan.

Head Coach Jeff Roope, now in his fifth season leading the Red & White, earned his third straight NCAC Coach of the Year award in recognition of his team's accomplishment.

Written By: Ryan Maurer