LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For the third time in seven years, the Bellarmine men's golf team is headed to the NCAA Division Two National Tournament. This trip may be the most unlikely.
Bellarmine did not inspire hopes of greatness in the fall, but after being ranked as low as 127th nationally, they kept climbing in the spring season and earned a trip to Denver with a third place finish in the GLVC tournament and another third in the NCAA regional in Michigan.
"We told ourselves we can't have a bad tournament. We had to play a really solid month to two months of golf and we just kept setting goals and we kept achieving them," said Senior Mack Van Lenten. The third place finish at conference and the third place finish at the super regionals just solidified all the work we put in all spring."
Van Lenten is the lone senior in the Knights starting lineup that includes three Sophomores and GLVC Freshman of the year James Inman. Bellarmine was 0-10 against top ten regional foes in the fall, but turned that around to go 19-11 against the same competition in the spring.
"I felt like we could do it," said Sophomore D.J. Vogt. "The fall we had definitely put ourselves in a hole. We stayed with it through winter break and that just gave us a little edge going into the spring. It helped our short-game out tremendously."
The team leaves for Denver Sunday. They'll play a practice round Monday then 54 holes of medal play Tuesday through Thursday. The goal is to be one of the top eight teams remaining out of the twenty that start and advance to medal-match play on Friday for the quarterfinals and semifinals. The Championship match is Saturday, May 21st.
"It's the best possible way to end my Bellarmine career," said Van Lenten. "I graduate Saturday and then we leave on Sunday. Busy weekend and busy week ahead of me but it will be a fun one for sure."
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