Photo courtesy of TommieSports.com
Photo Courtesy of Scott Proshek
The men’s golf team had an admirable season, with individual efforts that contributed to the team’s
overall success at nationals. Their 15-player roster was
filled with motivated and hardworking players. Nearly
two dozen athletes tried out for the coveted spots. Scott
Proshek has led the team as head coach since 2010, and
helped each athlete excel to the best of his ability. This
season, Proshek was named conference Coach of the
Year and was one of five finalists for the Division III Dave
Williams National Coach of the Year Award.
Junior Nick Nielsen reflected on some of the team’s
best moments this season. “Our tournament down in
Florida before our fall season came to an end was our
high point,” Nielsen said. “We came back 16 strokes to
beat the top 20 teams in the country in DIII.” Despite the
different experience levels on the team, the Tommies
exceled throughout the season. Nielsen said, “The team
is young with only Jack Riester and I being seniors, but
with leadership and keeping our guys loose we are able
to have fun out there each time we are playing golf.”
Sophomore Pete Sienko was a perfect example of
the success that came from underclassmen. He received
the elite Player of the Year conference award, and was
named one of the 30 Division III Men’s Golf semifinalists
for the 2016 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year
Award. Sienko was the only semifinalist from the MIAC.
He is also among nine Division III men’s golfers who
were named to the 2015-16 PING All-America team.
A commendable team performance this season was
at the St. John’s Spring Invite on April 23, where the team
shot a program-record 18-hole score of 278 in the final
round. Nielsen and Derek Farrell each had impressive
54-hole scores of 209 and tied for third place amongst
104 players .
The Tommies’ achievements led them to nationals for
the fourth time in five seasons. On May 2, the team was
invited to the 41-team Division III national tournament in
Rochester, New York. There they tied for fifth out of 41
teams, the best finish in St. Thomas program history.
By Martha McKinley