KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Bethany College men’s golf team finished No. 20 in the final NAIA poll, jumping up four spots.
The four spots were in large part because of the Swedes’ strong showing at the NAIA National Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Swedes finished in 15th place at the championships and had two individuals in the Top 20. Bethany finished with a three-round total of 896, while Ben Johnson finished tied for 12th after three rounds and a 216, and Jose Acevedo was tied for 19th with a total score of 218.
Bethany started the year by being ranked 24th in the preseason poll after receiving votes in the final poll of last year. The Swedes stayed in that spot for the first poll of the year that was released on March 14. In the second poll, released on March 28, Bethany moved up one spot to be ranked 23rd in the nation.
Bethany continued to climb in the third poll of the year. The Swedes jumped two spots and were ranked 21st on April 11. The team then fell three spots in the final poll before the National tournament, to be ranked 24th in the nation.
"The guys played and practiced with focus and it was rewarded with this national ranking," Bethany coach Jon Daniels said. "They deserve all the credit for the recognition. I am very proud of their accomplishment. In addition to the ranking, they also have a 3.43 GPA, so their work was not just on the golf course."
Johnson received All-KCAC Honors for finishing second in the KCAC conference events. He also won three NAIA Awards. He was a third-team NAIA All-American, was voted on the NAIA Nationals All-Tournament Team and he was also on the NAIA PING All-Region team. Johnson was also an All-KCAC Champion of Character Award Winner and the KCAC Golfer of the Week three of the four times it was awarded.
Acevedo was the only other player to be named KCAC Golfer of the Week. He also received All-KCAC honors, and finished in the Top 20 at NAIA Nationals. Acevedo and Johnson were joined by James Tisdale, Greg Miller, Jose Luis Lelo de Larrea and Matt O'Neill to receive All-KCAC Honors for finishing in the Top 10 in the four KCAC Conference events. A Swede golfer won three of the four events, the only tournament not won by a Bethany golfer was the KCAC Championship, which was won by Seth Bryan of Southwestern College. Daniels was also named the KCAC Coach of the Year.