Golf: Lynch helps send Johnnies to nationals

5-7 spo-Lynch EG 3

Stillwater graduate Drew Lynch is enjoying an outstanding season for the St. John’s University men’s golf team, which on Monday received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championships later this month.

5-7 spo-Lynch EG 2The sophomore was medalist at the Gustavus Adolphus Invitational on Friday after shooting a 1-under 69 at LeSueuer Country Club, an event that was trimmed to one round because of poor weather conditions. It was the first collegiate victory for Lynch, who is a combined 3-over par in six rounds this spring for a 71.7 scoring average. As a result of those efforts, which led to a runner-up showing for the Johnnies, Lynch was named the MIAC Men’s Golf Athlete of the Week on Tuesday.

The third-ranked Johnnies have qualified for nationals 13 of the past 14 seasons and have not finished lower than eighth in their last five appearances, including national championships in 2007 and 2008 and a third-place finish in 2011.

Gustavus earned the MIAC’s automatic NCAA bid by winning the conference tournament last fall, but the Johnnies bolstered their hopes for an invitation after winning the prestigious 18-team Golfweek Division III Invitational in October at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla., which is also where the NCAA Championships will be held on May 14-17. Forty-one teams qualify for nationals, but the field is trimmed to 15 following the first two rounds.

Lynch, a Global Business Leadership major, finished eighth at the Class AAA state tournament while competing for the Ponies as a senior in 2011.