SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – After a picture perfect day on Monday, Mother Nature decided to wreak havoc on the final day of stroke play with sustained winds of over 20 mph and guest over 30 mph. The result was scores trending up across the board and that was the case for Lipscomb junior Dawson Armstrong, who ended the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship with a -1, 287 (71-68-72-74) at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
“Today was a lot of fun,” said Armstrong. “From the beginning of the round all the way to the end, it was a battle just to scrap back to even par. I didn’t really get the breaks I wish I would have, but overall I’ll take this week as a positive moving on for the summer and next year.”
The very first hole would be telling for Armstrong on the day. His initial drive went well left of the fairway forcing a challenging approach shot from the rough around a TV stand. That should would find the edge of the green though before a birdie attempt from the fringe skated over the hole, glanced off the pin resulting in a two-putt for bogey.
Armstrong would then bogey both three and four before stringing together back-to-back birdies put him back within one stroke of even-par, a score that few players would crack on Monday. A drive on seven landed in a fairway bunker and that would prove to be a daunting challenge as Armstrong launched his second shot toward the green on the par five but it drifted left and found the water hazard and the end result would be a double bogey, his first of the tournament.
The Brentwood native would go on to post three birdies and three bogeys on the back nine to finish the day four-over in a tie for 16th.
“I really feel our program is in a good spot right now,” said Lipscomb director of Golf Will Brewer. “It will be very challenging to get back here. There's a lot of great teams and a lot of our conference teams that weren't here. Florida was ranked No. 4 and didn't even make it. So it's a challenge for us but we're up for the challenge. It has inspired us to know that we can compete with the best so I really am confident that this can only help what we're doing.”
Ole Miss’ Braden Thornberry claimed the individual National Championship with a -11,277 edging out Arkansas’ Mason Overstreet. Tuesday also wrapped up stroke play for the teams with Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Southern California, Baylor and UNLV advancing to match play beginning on Wednesday.