by Eva Dean Folkert
The Hope College men's golf team is in unfamiliar territory after finishing second to Kalamazoo College in the first round of the MIAA NCAA Division III Qualifier. The Flying Dutchmen, who as the regular season league champs did not lose a MIAA Jamboree last fall, finished three strokes behind the Hornets at Watermark Country Club in Grand Rapids.
Kalamazoo shot the top round of 307, Hope finished with a 310, Trine University was a shot back at 311, and host Calvin College finished fourth with 313.
Hope was led by senior Josh Gibson of Grandville (Grandville HS) who fired a one-under 71, good for second place individually. Nick Ludka of Kalamazoo was the titleist with a 70.
Two more rounds remain to determine which of these four MIAA teams earns the one automatic qualification slot to the Division III national championship held this year at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
Hope will host the next 36 holes at Wuskowhan Players Club in West Olive on Friday and Saturday, April 27-28. Friday's tee-off times begin at 1 p.m.; Saturday's start is 9 a.m.