May 9, 2012
TMC’s Thane Ringler's (Hutchinson, Kansas) rounds of 71,74, and 75 gave the Mustang golf team a glimmer of hope as the squad looked to extend their season to the NAIA National Championship later this month. The team needed a first-place finish to qualify for the championship.
While Ringler’s efforts over the three-day event secured a fifth place finish for the junior in the individual standings, the Mustangs narrowly fell short of the NAIA championship qualifying mark and ended their 2012 campaign in second place at the NAIA Regional Championship, played at the Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, California.
The Mustangs, who were tied for first with a team score of 291 after the morning round of the first day, found themselves 13 strokes back of Point Loma Nazarene following the afternoon round; PLNU shot 281 to the Mustangs' 294. During the final round, they couldn’t capitalize on the open door created by tougher conditions and poor play, and took second out of 12 squads to the GSAC rival Sea Lions.
Equally important was the consistent play of senior Daniel Mothershead (Canyon Country, California) and junior John Lawson (Mobile, Alabama) as the duo posted scores of 72, 72, 82 (Mothershead) and 73, 74, 79 (Lawson), respectively, to finish in a tie for 11th on the individual leaderboard and contributing to a strong team finish.
“We expect to be at nationals every year and this year was a tough year for us in a lot of different ways,” Mustang coach Jason Semelsberger stated. “While I am disappointed that we didn’t qualify for nationals this year, I am proud of the way we played our final event. We came out solid and firing in the first two rounds, sticking to our game plan and we put ourselves in position. Point Loma just played exceptional that second round and we thought we would have to match their efforts in the final round to have a chance to win the tournament. We didn’t expect Point Loma to come back to us in the final round as much as they did and we maybe pressed a little too hard to shoot a really low number to win.”
Further commenting on the Mustangs' efforts, Semelsberger states, “I take responsibility for this and we learned a lot for the future. I am excited that we will have the guys coming back who gained a lot of experience from this year and seasoning that we hope will bode well for next year”.
The Mustangs finished the 2012 campaign by losing only one senior to graduation. With seven Mustangs returning, including the club's top high-scorer Thane Ringler, expectations are high for next season.