April 2, 2010

By Grant Lucas
Special to NCAA.com

Latimer, Ratner Card Conference-Bests

Although No. 4 Guilford College finished sixth in the 39th Marine Federal Credit Union Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, two individuals recorded rounds that the Old Dominion Athletic Conference hasn't seen this season.

Senior Peter Latimer and Freshman Noah Ratner sparked a Guilford attack, firing tournament-best rounds of 66.  The Quakers grabbed the early edge with a 272 after the opening round - one stroke ahead of Johnson & Wales University.
    
With the low scores, Latimer and Ratner found themselves atop the ODAC's lowest rounds of the season, squeaking by Ratner's previous record of 67 set in September.
    
The hot shooting unfortunately came to a halt in the second and third rounds as the Quakers carded scores of 298 and 304, respectively.
    
No. 1 Methodist University, on the other hand, quickly climbed to the top of the leaderboard following an invitational-low 270 on the second day of action.
    
Guilford returns to the links when it competes in the Emory Spring Invitational in Stone Mountain, Ga., on April 12.

Hot shooting propels Blue Devils

After falling two strokes behind No. 12 Illinois Wesleyan University on the first day, the University of Wisconsin-Stout bounced back with a final-round 292 to eke by the Titans by one shot at the Gorlock Spring Invitational in Okawville, Ill., on March 28-29.
    
Four Blue Devil golfers cut strokes off their scores with improved second rounds.  Junior Sean Larson carded a second-round 72 - four strokes better than the opening day - to finish in second place with a plus-8 148.
    
Senior Derek Holmes had the opposite experience, dropping three strokes in the second round.  Holmes held a first-round lead following a plus-3 73, but a 76 on the final day sank Holmes to the fourth spot.
    
Illinois Wesleyan senior Matt Wenmaker claimed the tournament title after recording an invitational-best 70 in the second round, sealing a three-stroke victory.
    
The Blue Devils will head to Dubuque, Iowa, for the Loras College-Duhawk Invite on April 5.

Stags cruise at Cal Lu Invitational

No. 13 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps attained an early lead at the California Lutheran Invitational and held onto it as he Stags rolled to a 15-stroke win ahead of No. 8 University of Redlands on March 28-30.
    
Although the course may have been difficult to other programs, Coach Bim Jollymour said his team didn't have many issues with it as they compete on it every year.
    
"It wasn't more difficult than what we expected," he said. "We knew what we were getting into and knew that you've got to take what it gives you and make the best of it."
    
Sophomore Tain Lee, the nation's leader in subpar strokes per round according to golf stat.com, paced the Stages with a 221 overall score, which was good enough to take the individual title.  Lee burst ahead of the rest of the field after a first-round 68 that gave him a four-stroke lead.  He wrapped up the invitational four shots ahead of No. 16 Linfield College senior Yutaro Sakamoto.

"The whole tournament, I didn't play especially well," Lee said.  "But par saves on the front nine during the first round carried over to the back.  I struck the ball better and improved on the short game.  Once that gets going, anything can happen."
    
Redlands placed two golfers in the top 10, with senior Ross Canavan finished in a tie for third and junior Alex Hedlund taking eighth after posting scores of 228 and 231, respectively.
    
Claremont-M-S next tees off at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference #4 in Industry Hills, Calif., on April 5.

Guilford coach Jack Jensen dies at 71
    
Following No. 4 Guilford College's sixth-place finish in Camp Lejeune, NC, head coach Jack Jensen died suddenly on March 28.  He was 71.
    
Jensen was in his 33rd season as the Quakers' coach and has taught and coached at Guilford for 45 years.
    
"He was an icon here at Guilford," athletic director Tom Palombo said.  "He was a guy that everybody leaned on and talked to because he had so much experience.  As great of a coach as he was, he was a greater person."
    
Palombo said that Jensen was a mentor for everyone.  His door was always open and Palombo said that everyone was fortunate enough to learn from Jensen.
    
The most decorated coach in Guilford history, Jensen led the men's basketball team and the golf squad to national championships.  Under Jensen, the basketball team won the 1973 NAIA national championship.  Sixteen years later, Jensen took the Division III crown in 2002 and 2005.
    
Since becoming the golf coach in 1976, Jensen led the Quakers to 26 national tournaments and 17 top-10 finishes.  He is enshrined in five halls of fame (NAIA, North Carolina, Guilford County, Guilford College and Wake Forest University - and will forever be remembered after Guilford renamed the basketball floor as Jack Jensen Court.