SALINA — Bethany College’s golf team entered the final day of the Swede Invitational Friday four shots behind the leader Southwestern College.
After the final round, the Swedes came away with the first-place trophy as Bethany's first team won by seven shots. Bethany's second team finished in third, 10 shots behind the Moundbuilders. Sterling College finished in fourth place and Bethany's third team rounded out the top five.
After shooting a first-round 307 at Turkey Creek in blustery conditions, Bethany coach Jon Daniels’ first team shot a tournament-low team round of 276 at Salina Muni. The round was the second-best ever in the Swede invitational. It was also tied for second-best in the Bethany College record book. The Swedes’ two-day performance of 583 was surprisingly the 13th best by any Swede golf team.
"I was very proud of how the guys handled adversity,” Daniels said. "We started the day in second place and faced very cold weather with rain, sleet and snow. Our guys overcame adversity and played like champions today."
Lewis Blair, from Bethany's third team, finished the tournament in a three-way tie for first in individual scores. Blair, Bethany's Ben Johnson and Southwestern's Seth Bryan all finished with a two-day total of 143. Blair won the playoff to take home the individual trophy. Johnson, however, shot an incredible round of 67 to pull even with the two who had been atop the individual standings Thursday. The Moundbuilders’ Shane Gilbert, Tanner George of Sterling College and Bethany's Matt O'Neill finished tied for fourth. The three finished one shot back of first place. Jose Acevedo and Jose Luis Lelo de Larrea both finished tied for eighth finishing with a score of 146.
Greg Miller finished the tournament in 11th place with a 148. He shot a 70 Friday, dropping eight strokes from day one. Olly Rubenstein dropped five shots from day one and shot a second-round 72 and finished the tournament with a score of 148. James Tisdale shaved 10 strokes off his score from day one. After shooting a first-round 80, Tisdale shot a 70 in Friday’s round to finish the tournament with 150 and in 13th place. Josef Loughlin finished with a total score of 153 and tied for 15th.
Manuel Collado and Lex Deal rounded out the Top 20 performers for Bethany College. Collado was tied for 18th and shot a 154 for the Swedes. Deal was one shot behind his teammate with a 155 and was tied for 20th.
Jacob Hebbel finished the tournament with a score of 156 and was tied for 22nd place. Chengetayi Dziva Chikwari shot seven strokes lower than his performance Thursdayto finish 24th. His two-day total score was 157. Tanner Thurman rounds out the Bethany lineup with a score of 158 and tied for 25th place. Thomas Felling withdrew from the tournament because of illness.
"I thought all three teams put in very good performances. I could see it in their eyes and their demeanor before the round that they were coming to play today and that is exactly what they did," Daniels said.
The Swedes have a quick turnaround and will travel to Newton for the Bethel Invite today. The invitational is a two-day tournament, both today and Sunday.