Daniels, W. Va. – A year ago there was suspense on the 18th green for the Lynn University men's golf team. There was no such uncertainty this season as Jorge Villar tapped in his par to comfortably give Lynn University's men's golf team a 3-2 victory over Lincoln Memorial to claim its second consecutive NCAA Division II Men's Golf National Championship.
The win gives the Fighting Knights 25 national championships in school history. Lynn's men's golf program now has two NCAA titles and three overall (1996 – NAIA).
INSIDE THE TOURNAMENT:
Results: Lynn def. Lincoln Memorial 3-2
Location: Cobb Course at Glade Springs | Daniels, W.Va.
History at Event: Seventh consecutive national championship appearance; 13th overall (2018 national champions at RTJ – The Shoals).
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Toto Gana was tied for much of the first seven holes but fell behind by as many as four strokes. The junior All-American rallied to a tie going into No. 18 but missed a six-foot putt to give LMU the 1-0 lead.
- Likewise Agustin Errazuriz was locked in a draw with Sam Broadhurst until the 11th hole. Lynn's Freshman All-American kept it close until Broadhurst pulled away on the final green, putting the Railsplitters on top 2-0.
- Fortunately for Lynn, the remaining three matches were well in hand.
- Carlos Bustos went from a one-shot lead to six over two holes and carried a five shot lead to victory.
- Giovanni Manzoni had the closest match. He led by four until a birdie from LMU on 16. On the ensuing tee shot, Manzoni landed 70 feet from the pin compared to 10 feet for Harry Boyle but Lynn's second Freshman All-American two putted to save par and Boyle missed his birdie. Manzoni would birdie No. 18 to win by five shots.
- Jorge Villar picked up the clinching match point for the second consecutive day. He was only tied for two holes before taking a two shot advantage on the par 3 No. 3. From there the Pueblo, Mexico, native pulled ahead by as many as eight and would tap in from a foot away to give Lynn the title.
BEYOND THE SCORECARD:
- Lynn is the first school to win back-to-back national titles in men's golf since Barry in 2013-14.
- The Sunshine State Conference has now won the last eight NCAA Division II national crowns.
- Villar and Bustos were a perfect 3-0 in match play this year. Bustos is now tied for third in program history (Martin Cancino, Mateo Gomez & Daniel Young) with five match play wins. Villar is sixth with four match play wins.
- Manzoni shot three-under par today and was 11-under par in three matches, going 1-1-1. Including stroke play, he was 13-under par.
- Gana was 12-under par between stroke and match play. He lost his first career match after going 2-1-0 and moves to 7-1-1 all-time in match play.
- Only Lynn and Barry have won multiple match play national titles.
- Andy Walker becomes the third head coach in school history to win a national title in his first season with the team, joining Shaun Pendleton (men's soccer – 1991) and Rocky Orezzoli (women's soccer – 1998).
- The victory gives Walker five on the season, most among first-year men's golf coaches in program history.
- The last three men's golf coaches for the Blue and White have taken their team to the national championship. Chris Greenwood finished fourth in 2006 and Andrew Danna was national runner-up in 2013.
- Lynn now has two national titles and four runner-up finishes in six national championship match play appearances.
- This is the fifth consecutive national championship match to be decided 3-2.
- Lincoln Memorial was making its first men's golf national championship appearance and the third national title appearance for the school.
Lynn will look for the three-peat as it returns all five starters from its championship squad, including First Team All-American Toto Gana and Freshmen All-Americans Agustin Errazuriz and Giovanni Manzoni.