Hebrink Is Miracle Medalist at NCAA DIII Championships; St. John's Takes 5th as a Team, and Berger Is 8th

May 19, 2023 | 6 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. -- There was as much drama on the last three holes in the final round of the NCAA Division III Championships on Friday as there usually is on the entire back nine at Augusta National during the final round of the Masters.

As just one example, Piedmont's Josh Hebrink birdied the 516-yard, par-5 15th hole at the Keene Trace Golf Club's Champion Trace course. That got him to 4 under par for the round and 5 under for the tournament, but the junior from Elk River still trailed Alex Price of Christopher Newport by three and his teammate Rob Kinder by two. Kinder dropped a shot when he bogeyed the par-3 16th (185 yards). Then Hebrink holed his second shot for an eagle at the 402-yard, par-4 17th, which put him one ahead of Kinder. He was still one behind Price, however. 

That changed when Price made a disastrous double bogey at the 424-yard, par-4 18th, and Hebrink parred it. That gave him a 6-under 66 -- and suddenly, Hebrink, who an honorable mention All-American in 2022, was the 2023 NCAA DIII individual champion, with a 72-hole total of 281 (minus 7). Price, who birdied seven of the first 14 holes Friday, had to settle for a 67, and a share of second place. He and Kinder, who shot 71, both finished at 282.

Sam Davidson of Guilford and Averett University's Max P:etterson, who was playing as an individual only, both closed with 69s, and they tied for fourth with aggregates of 283. Bobby Beaubien of Illinois Wesleyan was sixth at 284, after a valedictory 72, and Methodist's Cameron Cappuzzo took sixth with a 285, after a 73.

The MIAC champion St. John's team will probably have fond memories of the first 15 or 16 holes at Champion Trace, but they will view those last two or three holes more in the way that Price and Kinder will. The Johnnies spent most of the final round either tied for the lead, or within a shot or two, but they were 9 over on the last three and ended up with a 289 for the day, a four-day total of 1160 -- and fifth place. 

They had led after a first-round 284, and Sam Berge was tied for third individually with a 68. He slipped back a bit with a 72 on Wednesday and a 77 on Thursday, but he was cruising as through the final round as he started down the stretch. He birdied the 390-yard, par-4 12th and the long, 458-yard, par-4 13th to go 4 under for the day. A bogey at the par-3 14th (182 yards) seemed nothing more than a bump in the road when he followed it with birdies at the par-5 15th (516) and the par-3 16th. But then he bogeyed the 17th and the 18th. Each of those last two bogeys cost him one place in the individual standings, and the Johnnies' junior from Waconia ended up in eighth at 286.

St. John's also got a birdie from Blake Schuler at the 16th, before he doubled the 17th and bogeyed the 18th. Nate Loxtercamp eagled the 545-yard, par-5 eighth and was 3 under through 15, but he went doube-bogey-bogey on the last three for a 73 and a 293, which put him in a tie with Schuler for 28th. Schuler shot 74.

Andrew Boemer  played the last three in only 1 over (a bogey at the 18th on his way to a 73. So did Andrew Boemer (a bogey at the 17th), but he shot 76, and his score didn't count. Boemer tied for 444th with a 297, and Gutzmer for 56th with a 300. 

The team that St. John's was challenging for the lead for the first 15 holes on Friday was Carnegie Mellon. When the Johnnies went off the rails on the last three holes, the Tartans pulled away. They posted a 279 (minus 9) for the day, and won by six with an overall 1151. Piedmont was second at 1157, three ahead of St. John's, and one ahead of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Methodist. They tied for third at 1158. 

NCAA Division III Championships

At Keene Trace Golf Club -- Keene Run (par 72, 6,701 yards)
& Champion Trace (par 72, 6,904 yards)

Nicholasville, Ky.

Final results 

1. Carnegie Mellon                       292-285-295-279--1151

2. Piedmont                                  289-284-295-289--1157

T3. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.      296-285-294-283--1158

T3. Methodist                                288-285-291-294--1158

5. St. John's.                                 284-293-294-289--1160

6. Christopher Newport                 286-291-297-287--1161

7. Guilford                                     297-283-298-286--1164

8. Rensselaer Polytechnic            290-288-292-296--1166

T9. Washington & Lee.                 307-287-292-287--1173

11. Emory                                      290-291-307-290--1178


1. Josh Hebrink, Piedmont                     69-74-72-66--281

T2. Alex Price, C. Newman                    69-71-75-67--282

T2. Robb Kinder, C. Newman                 69-72-70-71--282

T4. Max Petterson, Averett                     74-71-69-69-283

T4. Sam Davidson, Guilford.                   73-69-72-69--283

6. Bobby Beaubien, Ill. Weslyan              67-73-72-72--284

7. Cameron Cappuzzo, Methodist           71-71-70-73--285

8. Sam Berger, St. John's                      68-72-77-69--286

T9. Brian Xu, Carnegie Mellon                 74-74-74-65--287

T9. Cade Patterson, Wash. & Jeff\erson  68-75-77-67--287

T9. Michael Vick, Guilford                        72-71-74-70--287

T9. Fred Roberts, Piedmont                     72-70-75-70--287

T9. David Zhang, Carnegie Mellon          73-74-67-73--287

T28. Blake Schuler, St. John's              71-74-74-74--293

T28. Nate Loxtercamp. St. John's         74-72-74-73--293

T44. Andrew Boemer, St. John's           74-78-69-76--297

T56. Thomas Gutzmer, St. John's         71-75-81-73--300       


Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website, mngolf.org, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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