DENVER – St. Leo freshman Hugo Bernard won the university’s first national championship in any sport, breaking the tournament record at -13 to capture the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf individual title.
Bernard entered the day with a healthy lead and shot an even-par 72 to stay at -13, winning by two strokes over Western New Mexico’s Calum Hill. He broke the 54-hole championship record with his score, which had stood since 2012. Bernard shot rounds of 65, 66, and 72.
While there was little drama in the individual standings, the race for the top eight team spots and berths in the medal match play rounds came down to the wire. Wilmington (Del.) earned its first trip to the quarterfinals by a single stroke (+2) over Central Oklahoma (+3), and Dallas Baptist was only another shot back.
Bernard with all of his awards. D2 champion, D2 Golfer of the Year, All American, Freshman of Year pic.twitter.com/IxIhcXGYNh— Saint Leo Men's Golf (@saintleomgolf) May 20, 2016
As St. Leo (-26), Chico State (-14), and Florida Southern (-13) ran away with the top of the leaderboard, there was plenty to play for below them as Lynn and Barry (both -6) held their spots, Cal Baptist (-1) moved up two spots to sixth, and West Florida played its way in with the day’s best team round at -8 to move from 10th after the second round to seventh.
Quarterfinal play is set for Friday morning, with semifinal matches Friday afternoon and the championship on Saturday.
Medal Match Play Quarterfinal Qualifiers
 St. Leo vs.  Wilmington
 Chico State vs.  West Florida
 Florida Southern vs.  Cal Baptist
 Lynn vs.  Barry
“It’s pretty fun. I enjoy it – but I’ll be honest with you, today he wasn’t my friend [laughs]. We’ve played junior golf together since we were 13 years old.” – NCAA individual champion Hugo Bernard on his friendship with teammate Joey Savoie, who started the day second and finished 11th.
“I’m proud of them. It’s the first time from our [East] region that anyone has been here.” - Wilmington (Del.) head coach Harry Jennings, whose unranked Wildcats made the final eight for the first time
“We’ve just been really patient here the last month of the season, letting the game come to us and not forcing the issue. We tend to get better as the tournaments go on.” – Cal Baptist head coach John Hackney, whose Lancers had the second-lowest team round of the day to secure their medal matchplay spot
- Hugo Bernard is St. Leo’s first NCAA champion – team or individual – in any sport. His -13 broke the 54-hole record co-held by Central Oklahoma’s Josh Creel and Colorado School of Mines’ Jim Knous (2012).
- St. Leo smashed the 54-hole team record at NCAA Championships at -26, ten strokes under Florida Southern’s pace in 1999.
- Runner-up Calum Hill of Western New Mexico matched the highest-ever finish by a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference golfer at NCAA Championships. His 67 (-5) moved him up four spots from Wednesday.
- Limestone’s Griffin Brown took third place at -10 with a final day 70.
- West Florida’s final-day move was largely thanks to Jacob Huizinga, who bounced back from an opening-round 77 to smash a 65 on Thursday, tied for the low round of the tournament. Huizinga closed t16, advancing 43 spots in round three.
Team Standings (Top 10)
1. St. Leo (838)
2. Chico State (850)
3. Florida Southern (851)
4. Lynn (858)
5. Barry (858)
6. Cal Baptist (863)
7. West Florida (864)
8. Wilmington (866)
9. Central Oklahoma (867)
10. Dallas Baptist (868)
Individual Final Standings (Top 10)
1. Hugo Bernard, St. Leo (-13, 65-66-72—203)
2. Calum Hill, Western New Mexico (-11, 69-69-67—205)
3. Griffin Brown, Limestone (-10, 69-67-70—206)
4. John Coultas, Florida Southern (-9, 70-68-69—207)
t5. Garrett Fey, Dallas Baptist (-8, 73-66-69—208)
t5. Mateo Gomez, Lynn (-8, 70-69-69—208)
t5. Richard Mansell, Nova Southeastern (-8, 69-68-71—208)
t8. John Clare, Le Moyne (-7, 69-72-68—209)
t8. Kavan Eubank, Cal Baptist (-7, 69-71-69—209)
t8. Liam Ainsworth, St. Leo (-7, 71-70-68—209)
Round 3 Low Rounds (Par 72)
Jacob Huizinga, West Florida - 65
Calum Hill, Western New Mexico – 67
Justin Wiles, Chico State – 67