Andrew Nevins | Echo
Taylor University men's golf continued its season-long dominance by winning the Crossroads League title on April 23 and 24 to receive an automatic bid into the NAIA National Golf Championship.
Day one saw the No. 12 ranked Trojans jump out to a 21-shot lead during the first two rounds.
Senior Trey Turner had quite a day on the links during the first two rounds. Turner posted eight birdies and just four bogeys on his way to shooting a total of 4-under par 140, separating him and second place by three shots.
Second place saw a tie between a pair of Trojans. Senior Mitch Lamping and junior Alec Dutkowski both shot 1-under par 143.
The Trojans continued to dominate on day two by shooting their way to a 30-shot victory to claim their third consecutive Crossroads League championship.
Taylor pulled away from the field with a three-round total of 10-under par 854 (283-287-284) on 54 holes, a new program record. Taylor ended up accounting for the top four spots on the leaderboard. Dutkowski brought his collegiate victory count to eight with a comeback win. He totaled a three-round score of 3-under par 213.
Second place was a three-player tie between Turner, Lamping and junior Jeremy Ray. The trio finished the day with a score of 2-under par 214 and a selection to the Crossroads League All-Tournament Team.
Dutkowski emphasized the importance of staying consistent heading into the national tournament.
"What we need to do as a team is what we do for every tournament and not let the tournament be bigger than us," Dutkowski said. "Just enjoy each day to prepare or compete for another championship."
The men's team will be sharing the spotlight this week with the women's golf team, as they took home their second consecutive Crossroads League Championship on April 30 and May 1, clinching a spot in the National Championship.
Day one saw the No. 16 ranked Trojans build a 13-shot advantage during the first two rounds of the tournament. The team was paced by freshman Nicole Jung and sophomore Maddie Thomas shooting 3-over par 75's during the opening round of 18 holes.
Taylor had strong showings from the rest of the team and opened up an 11-shot lead over Grace after the first round with a score of 315.
This was enough to help the team survive late pushes by Indiana Wesleyan and Marian in the second round.
All five players ranked inside the top 12 after day one, with Jung leading the group in second place.
Taylor was able to pull away on day two and come away with the 18-shot victory and a two-day total of 960 (315-325-320).
Jung again led the Trojans with a 4-over par 76. Taylor got a 79 from junior Elizabeth Jackson and an 82 from Thomas. All five teammates placed inside the top 15, with Jung coming in second with a personal score of 229 (75-78-76).
Senior Grace Elenbaas said mental toughness has been the strength of the golf team this season.
"A team strength that Taylor women's golf always exhibits, and especially in this tournament, was mental toughness," Elenbaas said. "It's not easy to hold a tournament lead the whole time, but they didn't let the pressure get to them. They stayed focused on the end result and not on one bad shot or bad hole."
Head men's and women's coach Cam Andry said that he knows his teams can compete with anybody if they relax, play their game and enjoy the ride.
The men's team will be competing in the National Championship May 15-18 in Silvis, Illinois. The women will compete May 22-25 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
"Photograph provided by Cam Andry"