by Alan Babbitt
A cold and soggy afternoon did not put a damper on the Hope College men's golf team's bid to reclaim the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association title.
The ninth-ranked Flying Dutchmen won the fourth MIAA Jamboree of the season on Monday by firing a league-record, 1-over-par 285 Monday at Watermark Country Club in Grand Rapids. They extended their overall lead in MIAA play to 40 strokes with 36 holes remaining.
Hope, which finished runner-up in the MIAA last season, received a course-record, 3-under-par 68 from senior Josh Gibson of Grandville, Michigan (Grandville HS) and a 69 from junior Daniel Settecerri of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Bloomfield Hills). Both rounds topped the previous jamboree best of 70.
All five Flying Dutchmen starters finished within seven strokes of each other. They eclipsed the previous low team round at Watermark of 294 by Calvin in 2009. Calvin shot the same score on Monday.
"This team is experienced and deep. That's certainly helped us," head coach Scott Lokers said of his Flying Dutchmen. "It's made a difference in our league jamborees."
Gibson, pictured left, earned medalist honors after surpassing the previous course record for an MIAA jamboree held by Trine University's Andy Wolf since 2009.
Gibson recorded six birdies and three bogeys on Monday. He is averaging a league-low 68.5 average after four jamborees and leads the individual standings by 14 strokes.
Settecerri, pictured right, tied for second with Kalamazoo's Nick Ludka with a round that included four birdies and two bogeys.
Watermark played as a par-71 — one stroke less than usual. The 14th hole had to be shortened to a par-3 because of standing water.
Senior Andrew Goble of Brighton, Michigan (Brighton) chipped in a ninth-place 73.
Playing as an individual, freshman Matt Schawel of Vernon Hills, Illinois (Stevenson) shot an 82 for Hope.
"Watermark isn't as long of a course yardage-wise as some of the courses we play, so it makes it a bit more manageable when it's wet like that," Lokers said. "The greens were holding, and that actually helps there. Some of those greens can be really fast. The course played a little bit easier than some of the times we've played Watermark."
Hope completes its fall season at the 36-hole, two-day MIAA Championships at L.E. Kaufman Golf Course in Wyoming on Friday-Saturday, October 12-13.
The Flying Dutchmen are seeking their 21st MIAA championship and fifth in six years.