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DSU's Poulsen wins Region III men's golf title

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A steady performance by Dickinson State junior T.J. Poulsen made all the difference in medalist competition at the NAIA Region III meet on Saturday.

Poulsen, who entered the day with a 1-stroke lead over St. Francis (Ill.) golfer Pat Fitzgerald, used good green placement to fire another 75, carding a two-day total of 150 to take top honors and earn a spot at the NAIA national tournament.

"I had confidence in my short game," Poulsen said. "I could get up and down from anywhere. If I missed the green, I missed it to the right spot."

Despite Poulsen's best efforts, the Blue Hawks couldn't muster up enough quality performances as a team, finishing third with a score of 639. St. Francis won the meet with a 635 while Minot State finished runner up with a 636.

"Besides T.J., we had a hard time hitting the ball to the right spots on the green," DSU coach Tim Daniel said. "The greens were fast and hard. We're disappointed. We were only four out and we didn't play up to our capabilities."

Though DSU isn't going to nationals as a team, Daniel said he was happy to have one representative.

"This is a great accomplishment for him," Daniel said of Poulsen. "He didn't do anything spectacular; he just played really steady golf."

The national tournament starts May 19 at TPC Deere Run Course in Silvis, Ill.

"Hopefully, I can keep my composure at nationals," Poulsen said. "If I can keep my composure, I can play good golf. We'll see what happens."

DSU's Tony Elliott tied for eighth place with a 160 and Kyle Chan took 12th with a 163. Thomas Weikle made it into the top 20, shooting a 166 for 16th place while Sean Sterkel rounded out DSU's scores with a 178.

NAIA Region III Tournament

At Elmwood Golf Course, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Team scores: St. Francis University (Ill.) 635, Minot State 636, Dickinson State 639, Olivet Nazarene University 649, South Dakota Mines 668, Robert Morris College 691, Jamestown College 739.

Individual Top 20: 1, TJ Poulsen, DSU, 150. 2, Pat Fitzgerald, SFUI, 153. 3, Seth Doran, ON, 154. 4, Justin Aberle, MSU, 157. 5, Grant Whybark, SFUI, 158. 6T, Carter Hilkewich, MSU, 159. 6T, Marion Hernandex, MSU, 159. 8T, Cody Vostad, SDM, 160. 8T, Tony Elliott, DSU, 160. 10T, Jordan Kelly, MSU, 161. 10T, Kevin Wiatr, SFUI, 161. 12, Kyle Chan, DSU, 163. 13, Brandon Eisenbraun, SDM, 164. 14T, Jake Bauer, J, 165. 14T, Bob Workman, ON, 165. 16T, Steve Wojcik, SFUI, 166. 16T, Dustin Garrod, RMC, 166. 16T, Thomas Weikle, DSU, 166. 16T, Drew Anderson, SFUI, 166. 20T, Tate Dugger, ON, 168. 20T, Ben Edwards, MSU, 168. 20T, Jordan Dillard, ON, 168.

Other Dickinson finishers: 30, Sean Sterkel, 178.