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MEN’S GOLF: Chris Swenson wins NSIC title; Bemidji State comes within stroke of team championship

Bemidji State redshirt senior Chris Swenson captured the 2021 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men's golf individual crown at Shoal Creek Golf Club in Kansas City, Mo.

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Bemidji State golfer Chris Swenson tees off at hole No. 2 on July 27, 2020 during the first day of the 96th annual Birchmont Golf Tournament at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chris Swenson achieved a feat Sunday that no other Bemidji State men’s golfer had pulled off in more than a decade.

The redshirt senior captured the 2021 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference individual crown at Shoal Creek Golf Club in Kansas City, Mo.

Swenson finished at 3-under par for the three-round tournament and carded his second straight 69 in the final round Sunday. Upper Iowa’s Logan Schweinefus posted a five-under par 66 Sunday to finish runner-up at 1-under for the tournament.

A Fergus Falls native, Swenson is the 16th BSU men’s golfer to win the NSIC individual title and the first since Mitch Mackedanz in 2008-09. By virtue of his top-five finish, Swenson was named to the NSIC All-Tournament Team.

The Beavers finished one stroke shy of Winona State for the team title. BSU ended the tournament at 32-over par with an overall score of 884 after shooting 293 Sunday to go along with scores of 305 and 286 in the first two rounds.

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WSU, which began the day tied for second with Sioux Falls, shot 288 to overcome a four-shot deficit and move past Bemidji State atop the leaderboard with a 31-over par 883. The Warriors have claimed the last two NSIC team titles. USF placed third with a 34-over par 886.

Ben Corbid also landed in the top 10 for the Beavers, his first top-10 finish of the season. The junior tied for eighth at 7-over for the weekend with a 220 (73-72-75).

Rounding out BSU’s contingent of five players were freshman Koby Kuenzel in a tie for 17th (+15, 80-71-77=228), senior Brandon Nelson in a tie for 21st (+16, 80-76-73=229) and senior Tanner Sperling in a tie for 28th (+19, 82-74-76=232). The top-20 finish was the first in Kuenzel’s collegiate career.

The pandemic cut short Swenson’s senior season in 2019-20. The NCAA granted spring athletes an extra year of eligibility, and Swenson made the most of it.

Swenson was the 2019 Birchmont men’s champion at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. He tied for second as a junior in his first appearance at the NSIC Championship in 2019 after transferring from Minnesota State Fergus Falls during the previous offseason.

Winona State claimed an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Central/Midwest Regional, which will also be hosted by Shoal Creek Golf Club, on May 6-8.

Swenson and Bemidji State will learn Friday, April 23, whether they will be selected to the NCAA Central/Midwest Regional. The committee will select eight teams, including three automatic qualifiers from the NSIC, MIAA and GAC, as well as three individuals not on those teams from each of the eight regions.

The Beavers were ranked No. 10 in the latest Central Region rankings released Friday, April 16.

Related Topics: GOLFBEMIDJI STATE BEAVERS
Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at sports@bemidjipioneer.com.
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