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Owls to take aim at NCAA fairways

GAMBIER, Ohio — For the second time in three seasons, the Kenyon College men’s golf team will play in the NCAA Division III Championship. The 2024 Owls squad is currently in Boulder City, Nevada practicing for the upcoming championship, which gets underway Tuesday morning.

The four-round championship is being held at two different courses. The Owls will play The Legacy Golf Club on Tuesday beginning with tee times at 8:35 a.m. (PDT). The team’s second round of play, on Wednesday, will move over to Boulder Creek Golf Course with tee times beginning at 12:50 p.m. (PDT).

Forty-three teams and six individuals not on one of those teams are slated to swing the clubs at the championship. After the second round of competition, the field will be cut to the top 18 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams. That pared field will go on to play two more rounds, one Thursday and one Friday, to determine the NCAA Division III team and individual champions.

Kenyon punched its ticket to the national event by topping the leaderboard at the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship last weekend at Westfield Country Club. The Owls won that event, their third win in their last four competitions, by six strokes over Wittenberg University. Four of five Kenyon golfers finished within the top-10 on the NCAC’s individual leaderboard.

In the final regular season Bushnell/Golfweek NCAA Division III Coaches Poll, released last week, the Owls sat in the No. 23 spot. Additionally, the team has a No. 26 rank in the most recent ranking from Scoreboard Powered by clippd.

Heading into the national championship, Kenyon is led by a pair of first-years in Jonathan Oakes and Jaiden Koonar. Oakes possesses a team-best 73.15 scoring average, while Koonar is not far behind at 73.31. Both of them have had five top-10 individual showings throughout the season.

Junior Armand Ouellette brings a 75.91 scoring average to the table, but he also brings experience. He’s the only member of the current team that participated in the 2022 NCAA Division III Championship, an event in which Kenyon placed 15th and Ouellette took an individual tie for 59th place in a field of 221. Ouellette has three top-10 finishes this season, including one win.

Senior Garrett Thesing and sophomore Will Hulsey round out the Kenyon championship roster. Thesing holds a 76.92 scoring average, while Hulsey has the team’s third-best average at 75.19. Thesing has three top-10 finishes this season and Hulsey has two.

Kenyon’s appearance at the national championship will be the fifth in program history.

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