DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque Spartans men’s golf team has been working toward a moment like this fall for the past three years. A trio of freshmen in 2010-11 caught the Iowa Conference teams off guard by finishing second place in the spring championships. All three placed in the Top-10 and named All-Iowa Conference: Eric Wolfe – 5th place overall (Cuba City, Wis./Cuba City Community HS), Martin Odegard 6th place overall (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead HS), and Mitchell Sobotta 10th place overall (Arcadia, Wis./Arcadia HS).
Three years later, the senior trio has given coach Jon Davison plenty of smiles in the fall of 2013. UD has played seven tournaments and 13 rounds of golf and have dominated the tournaments taking six first place finishes and one second place finish. The Spartans are averaging a team score of 293.92. Wolfe has competed in every round and leads the Spartans with low round average of 72.54 (+1 over Par) and placed in the Top-10 in six meets claiming medalist honors twice. Odegard has an average round of 73.69 (+2 over Par) and placed in the Top-10 five times. Sobotta finished the fall with an average of 73.85 (+2 over Par) and placed in the Top-10 in five meets and earned medalist honors once. Not to be overshadowed are Josh Schuberg (Jr., Elburn, Ill./Kaneland HS) 76.08 average and Cameron Shere (Jr., Freeport, Ill./Pecatonica HS) 76.09 average round.
The Spartans scores will place them among the best in NCAA Division III. According to the fall 2013 GolfStat Rankings among the Top-25 teams this fall, UD has the third lowest average score, but have played in nearly twice the amount of tournaments compared to the top two score averages. Nationally Claremont Mudd Scripps leads with two tournaments and an average of 286.40. Wittenberg University ranks second with a team average of 293.67 after competing in four tournaments. The Spartans rank third with an average of 293.92 in seven tournaments playing in some adverse fall conditions in 2013.
In Region C play, the Spartans lead by nearly four strokes over second place Illinois Wesleyan’s 297.10 average. UD is the only Region C team from the Iowa Conference to be on the Top-10. Wolfe Leads Region C individually with an average of +1.15 over Par with his best round being a 68, -4 under Par at the Elmhurst College Fall Invitational. He helped the Spartans to claiming the team title with a -3 under Par as a team. Sobotta tied teammate Wolfe with -4 under Par round at Culver’s Edgewood College Fall Classic with a score of 67.
Golf World/Nike Golf Division III Top-25 Poll released on Oct. 16 has listed the Spartans fall season and has UD ranked 23rd in the country.
The spring of 2014, expect to watch the Spartan men’s golf squad compete for their first IIAC team title since 1975 when Jim Kinney claimed medalist honors and Coach of the Year was… Jon Davison.