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Men's Golf Packs Clubs for NCAA National Championships

This year at the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship, the Celts are competing for the first time in program history. On the heels of winning the 2023 SCAC title, St. Thomas secured the conference’s automatic bid in their first year of NCAA Division III. The tournament will take place in Nicholasville, Kentucky, on May 16-19, at Keene Trace Golf Club, home of the PGA Barbosal Championship.

A Season to Remember

The Men’s golf season got off to a good start at the California State Intercollegiate. The Celts fired rounds of 286, 289 and 291. This was good for a team score of 866 (+2) and a fourth-place finish.

In the spring, the Celts continued their campaign at the Glenlakes Invitational where they locked in fourth place shooting rounds of 308, 293, 315 and a team score of 916 (+52) in tough conditions. At Glenlakes, the field featured Division I & II prospects alike.

The Celts kicked it into high gear at the Linda Lowrey Invitational. Entering the tournament as defending champions, St. Thomas got back on track firing rounds of 291 and 305 for a team score of 596 (+20) for a four-shot victory over SCAC foe Southwestern University.

Celt Men’s Golf took this momentum to the SCAC Championships, where they opened with a 291 in round one and 299 in round two. St. Thomas took a one-shot lead over Trinity University, heading into day two. Celts then carded a 294 tying for the day’s best round and finished with a team score of 884 (+20), seven shots clear over host Schreiner University. With these results, the Celts won the SCAC title for the first time and secured the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. 

Driven By Seniors

This season Men’s Golf has been led by experience with a four-person senior class. Also on the team is a pair of juniors in Patrick Smetek and Cameron Curtis. Curtis joined the Celts this season as a transfer from Lyon College and has been a great addition. Curtis shined at the conference tournament with a total score of 223 (+7). He finished ninth place and received All-SCAC honors. Patrick Smetek led the Celts after day one firing rounds of 72 (E) and 75 (+3). Smetek tied for sixth place finishing with a round three 75 (+3), also receiving All-SCAC honors. Senior Jackson Murff shot rounds of 87, 88 and 78, good for 36th place to wrap up his collegiate career at the SCAC Championship. Also competing, senior Henry Phavorachit shot rounds of 81, 74 and 78. He finished tied for 21st place, and his 74 (+2) led the Celts in round two. Senior Jonathan Miller finished SCAC play in second place overall. He led the field in birdies with 12 and fired rounds of 73, 75, 71 for a total 219 (+3) to earn All-SCAC honors. Miller fought through adversity throughout the season and was ranked as high as 15th in the nation in the fall Golfstat player rankings. Lastly, Senior Cade Kiser was a constant force for the Celts. Kiser was crowned champion at the Tempest Intercollegiate and Linda Lowrey Invitational. At the conference tournament, he tied for sixth place and received All-SCAC honors. The three-time SCAC Golfer of the Week fired rounds of 74, 75 and 73, totaling 222 (+6). He is also currently ranked 29th in the latest Golfstat player rankings. The Celts have won back-to-back tournaments heading into nationals.

Men’s golf hits the links at the Keene Trace Golf Club for the NCAA Championships on May 16-19. Follow ustcelts.com for all scores and updates.