AURORA, Ill. — Coming into the final two rounds of the NACC championship, Edgewood held a 28-stroke lead, but by no means did the Eagles let up this week. With Monday’s round of 311, Edgewood increased its lead to 38 strokes and on Tuesday, the Eagles clinched their fifth conference championship and second NCAA Division III championship appearance. Edgewood’s four round total of 1,236 is the lowest in NACC history.
Patrick Cahill and Kenny Rucker were battling for the top individual spot in the tournament as each was tied for the lead after two rounds at 148. Cahill pulled ahead by a stroke after Monday’s round at Stonebridge Country Club and claimed his first victory this season with a final round 78, three strokes ahead of Wisconsin Lutheran’s Jake Gaudysnki. Rucker finished in third place with a four day total of 306, just four shots back of Cahill.
With a team-best 75 on Tuesday, Kyle Bruce climbed up to tie for fourth place in the 59-player field. The top-five finish marked the first in his career at Edgewood and his second appearance in the top 10. Patrick Bohrer also put himself in good position to place high as he posted a 76 on Monday. The senior followed that with an 80 in the final round to grab ninth place. Michael Mathwick rounded out the Eagles’ top-five with a championship total of 349.
In the two spring rounds, Wisconsin Lutheran fired a team score of 621, which led the NACC, but Edgewood set itself up for success with a terrific fall score. The Warriors finished 35 strokes back of the Eagles while MSOE finished third with a 1,289 and Lakeland was fourth after a four round total of 1,291.
With the medalist honor, Patrick Cahill earned NACC player of the year honors while Rucker, Bruce, and Bohrer all joined him on the all-NACC team based on their top-10 finish. Head coach Gary Oftedahl was named conference coach of the year after guiding the Eagles back to the NCAA championships.