SFU Advances, WWU’s Lee Second At NCAA Championships
A successful day at the NCAA Championships saw Simon Fraser advance to match play and Western Washington's Jordan Lee finish runner up for individual honors. | Photos by Jeff Evan/WWU Athletics
A successful day at the NCAA Championships saw Simon Fraser advance to match play and Western Washington's Jordan Lee finish runner up for individual honors. | Photos by Jeff Evan/WWU Athletics

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

WARREN, Ohio – The third day of the 2023 NCAA Division II Men’s Championships proved to be a thrilling one for the GNAC as  Simon Fraser secured a spot in the race for the team championship and Western Washington’s Jordan Lee concluded his collegiate career as the runner-up for individual medalist honors.

The Red Leafs are no stranger to playoff golf this season, having won the GNAC Championships in a two-hole playoff against the Vikings in April. They proved their strength again on Wednesday, winning a three-team playoff against Missouri S&T and Harding by playing 2-under-par to become the eighth and final team to advance to match-play for the first time in program history and compete for the team title in Warren, Ohio.

In the final round of stroke-play, it was junior Michael Crisologo who came up big for Simon Fraser, carding a score of four-under-par to help the Red Leafs jump three places up the standings with a team score of 288 and force the playoff. Crisologo’s 68 is the best round for any SFU golfer in the tournament and second only to Lee’s 67 from Tuesday among GNAC competitors.

Sophomore Bailey Bjornson was the highest-placed individual finisher for Simon Fraser in a tie for 25th with a three-round score of 2-over-par 218. Bjornson also shot his low round of the tournament to close out stroke-play.

Seniors Jordan Bean and Aidan Goodfellow followed Bjornson in ties for 36th and 59th, respectively. Bean finished with a three-round score of 4-over-par 220 while Goodfellow finished with a 6-over-par 224. Crisologo also finished the tournament with a score of 244 tied for 59th.

Western Washington’s Lee can say he’s one of the best golfers in Division II with certainty after finishing runner-up for individual medalist honors with a three-round score of 10-under-par 206. Lee carded a score of 3-under-par 69 to close out his championship challenge, including four birdies and an eagle on the par-five hole 14.

He finished the tournament with 15 birdies to lead all golfers in the field and also led all competitors with a 3.87 stroke average on par-four holes. He also tied for 10th with a 4.42 stroke average on par-five holes at the challenging Avalon Lakes Golf Course.

Lee never shot over par in the tournament after opening the NCAA Championships with a 2-under-par 70 on Monday and shooting the best round of Tuesday with a 5-under-par 67. He finished just two strokes back from individual champion Andrew Riley of Palm Beach Atlantic.

Lee’s result caps off his Vikings’ career with his fifth consecutive top-two finish and concludes a run of 16 straight rounds where he shot even-par or better that dates back to February’s Battle In The Desert.

Lee’s excellent individual performance led Western Washington to a 15th-place team finish with a three-round score of 893. The result marks the end of the Vikings’ best season since they finished third at the NCAA Championships in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 2013. Western Washington opened the tournament with a score of 304 on Monday before a low round of 1-under par 287 on Tuesday. The Vikings closed out the tournament with a score of 302 on Wednesday.

Sophomore Conrad Brown was the second-highest-placed WWU golfer in the tournament, finishing in a six-way tie for 80th with a score of 229. Brown’s best round of the NCAA Championships came on Tuesday where he shot an even-par 72 before closing out the final round with an 8-over-par 80.

Sophomore Seth King and senior Cody Oakes rounded out the scoring effort for Western Washington with scores of 231 in a tie for 88th. Oakes was the model of consistency, shooting rounds of 5-over-par 77 on all three days of the tournament. King had the best round of the pair, shooting a 71 on Tuesday before closing the tournament with an 8-over-par 80.

Simon Fraser will join the other seven top teams and be placed in a bracket seeded on 54-hole scores to compete in head-to-head medal play (stroke-play over 18 holes and low-score wins). Each team match will consist of five points with one point being awarded for each individual match. Winning teams will advance to the semifinals and subsequently the finals.

Each individual match will be played to its completion and the first team to win three points within the team match will advance, or in the case of the final match be declared the NCAA Division II Champion. As the No. 8 seed, Simon Fraser will be matched up against No. 1 seed Oklahoma Christian who finished with a three-round score of 10-under-par 854.  

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