Barry, Crouch repeat as D-II men's champions
It was back-to-back all around at the NCAA Division II Men’s Championship.
Barry University (Miami Shores, Fla.) and Florida Southern College’s Tim Crouch repeated as national champions.
Barry topped fellow Florida rival, Nova Southeastern University, for the team title May 23 at The Meadows Golf Cub in Allendale, Mich. Meanwhile, Crouch won the individual title two days earlier in the 54-hole stroke-play portion.
“They don’t give out rings for regular-season wins or having good seasons. They give out rings for national champions,” Barry head coach Jimmy Stobs said. “We prepared at home for this moment before we got here and the guys stepped up big today.
“They proved they were the best team in the country by far. I’m so proud of these guys.”
Barry won a school-record eight tournaments this season, including the NCAA title.
The Buccaneers defeated Nova Southeastern, 3½ to 1½ in the medal match-play championship. Nova Southeastern was the top team of eight after the 54-hole stroke play qualifier (11-over 863). Barry was second at 25-over 877.
Nova Southeastern topped Indiana University (Pa.), 3-2, and Barry edged Cal State-Monterey Bay, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. Both teams won 3-2 in the semifinals: Nova Southeastern topped Malone University and Barry beat Chico State.
In the final, Barry’s Jared Dalga, Scott Smyers and Berry Jole won matches. Nova Southeastern’s No. 1 player Santiago Gomez tied Barry’s Mario Beltran with 73s. Nova Southeastern’s Ricardo Celia defeated Barry’s top player, Adam Svensson, 71-72.
Barry also won the national title in 2007, the last time it was held at The Meadows.
In the individual championship, Crouch used a final-round 3-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Barry’s Svensson. Crouch finished at even-par 213.
Gomez had a chance to win the title outright or force a playoff but bogeyed his final two holes to finish at 2-over 215 and finished third.
“You play every year just to win one of these, and I won two of them,” Crouch said. “It means a lot to me, my coach, my family and the program.”
PGA Tour player Briny Baird (Valdosta State, 1994-95) was the last player to win back-to-back individual championships. Tampa’s Jeff Leonard (1987-88) is the only other player to win back-to-back titles. Cal State-Chico’s J.J. Jakovac won two titles in 2002 and 2004.
Crouch was the eight national individual champion for Florida Southern. Tom Gleeton (1979), Tom Patri (1981), Lee Janzen (1986), Matt Saglio (1999), Jeff Klauk (2000) and Steve Sokol (2001) also won titles for the Mocassins, which has won 12 team titles.