During the month of January, Golfweek will preview the spring season for each conference. Today, we look at the Summit League:
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Top of the class: Denver
• Player to watch: Oskar Arvidsson, Denver. The senior led the conference in scoring average in the fall and won the Ram Masters Invitational.
• Freshman to watch: Grant Smith, South Dakota State. The rookie played 16 rounds in the fall, notching a sub-75 scoring average and a top 10.
• Conference championship: April 21-23, Sky Creek Ranch GC, Keller, Texas
• Past champions (since 2009): Kansas City (2013), IUPUI (2012), Kansas City (2011), Oral Roberts (2009-10)
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(Golfweek/Sagarin rank in parentheses)
- Denver (116): Denver started the fall hot, winning the Ram Masters Invitational, and it picked up another top-5 finish at the Bill Ross Invitational. Oskar Arvidsson led the team with a solid fall. The senior from Sweden led the team, and the entire Summit League, with a 71.67 scoring average and took medalist honors at the Ram Masters Invitational. Junior Victor Doka also added a top 5 in the fall. Denver heads into Summit League competition from the WAC.
- IUPUI (216): The Jaguars nabbed a win at the John Dallio Memorial and a runner-up finish at the Golfweek Program Challenge in a busy fall. Three golfers notched scoring averages less than 74, including sophomore Rylan Porter. Porter led the team with a 72.29 scoring average. Junior Jose Pablo Segurola notched two top 5s in the fall.
- North Dakota State (233): North Dakota State earned four top-5 finishes in the fall, thanks to a huge stretch out of junior Bill Carlson. Carlson nabbed four top 5s individually, including a win at the Erv Kaiser Invitational. He was an All-tournament performer at last year’s Summit League Championship after he finished fifth. The team boasts a large roster, with seven upperclassmen.
- South Dakota State (240): The Jackrabbit’s top performance of the fall came at their own tournament, where they finished first out of eight teams. Hudson Carpenter led the team with a 71.94 scoring average and an individual win. The only other remaining senior, Lukas Davison, finished third on the team in terms of scoring average. The rest of the team is composed of underclassmen.
- Nebraska-Omaha (241): Nebraska-Omaha nabbed two top 5s in the fall, but played only one tournament with more than 10 teams. The team’s best finish was a second-place showing at the Maverick Collegiate Invitational. None of the team’s players posted a scoring average less than 75 in the fall. There are five upperclassmen on the roster.
- South Dakota (243): South Dakota hopes to build on its second-place showing at The Summit League Championship last year. It has a great chance, with all five contributors from the championship tournament returning this year, including top-10 performers Samuel Matthew, Miles Death and Alex Kline. Kline led the team this fall with three top 5s.
- Western Illinois (257): Western Illinois nabbed one top 5 in the fall – a fourth-place showing at the Maverick Collegiate Invitational. Nick Steffens took medalist honors at the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate, where he shot his lone sub-par round of the fall on the final day. The team came in 4th at the Summit League Championship last year.
- IPFW (277): IPFW finished near the bottom of the pack in all of its five fall tournaments. Jacob Groninger led the team with six rounds of par or better. He notched a scoring average of 74.92. Groninger and Oliver Gibson were the lone golfers to nab top 10s in the fall.