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Men's Golf Gunning for Big Finish at NCAA Championships

Men's Golf Gunning for Big Finish at NCAA Championships

Written by Student Assistant Sarah Cornell-Maier

VIDEO: Austin Darnell and Luke Hall talk NCAA Championships

TACOMA, Wash. – The Northwest Conference Champion Pacific Lutheran University men's golf team is continuing its hot season with a trip to Greensboro, North Carolina for the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships.

The Lutes are sending their best to the tournament, including their sole senior Mitchell Baldridge and NWC Freshman of the Year Austin Darnell.

The Lutes won both the NWC Spring Classic and the NWC Tournament to claim the NWC title and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This is the second consecutive year the Lutes will make the trip to nationals, finishing 18th last season for the best finish in program history. Coming off of that success, the Lutes are looking to have a major showing at the National Tournament.

Freshman Austin Darnell is not only excited to travel for this major competition; he's ready to win.

"Our goal from the first day we got here was to win a national championship," said Darnell. "It's going to take four days of great golf, but we can do it."

The Lutes are currently rank 25th in the Division III Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll, and are looking to completely blow that ranking out of the water as they head into the National championship.

"It's an awesome feeling knowing that all of the hard work the team put in is getting a trip to nationals, especially for the four freshman that are going," said Darnell. "I want to carry my success into the tournament and put up some quality scores for my team."

As the Lutes work to show their best golf on the national stage, the Lutes are relying on their returning athletes in helping their younger teammates showcase the Lute spirit while in such an unfamiliar environment.

"The returners from last year have helped us prepare for the trip, both of our coaches have been preparing us to be at our best potential so we can bring home a national championship."

The Championships get underway on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. (Eastern) at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro with the Lutes one of 48 teams in the championship field. All 42 teams play two rounds before the field gets whittled down to just 18 teams for the final two rounds on Thursday and Friday.