One week after taking first place at the Earl Yestingsmeir Memorial Invitational, junior Ryan Wenzler won the Horizon League Tournament and received an automatic bid into the NCAA Regional after shooting a 211 through three rounds at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.
Ryan shot a 72 and a 70 in the first two rounds and was tied for second place headed into the final round on Sunday, April 24, in which he shot three-under-par to win the tournament by two strokes. Joey Krecic of Cleveland State finished in second place.
“This is the biggest tournament I’ve won and its nice because I get to move on to regionals,” Wenzler said. “I was up against Joey and he’s a good player, it wasn’t that I was doubting myself, but it wasn’t guaranteed.”
With back-to-back tournament wins and his first place finish in the Northern Kentucky Classic in Sept., Wenzler accomplished a task no Raider has done since the 1989-90 season when Frank Lickliter won three tournaments in one season.
“When I saw that it was defiantly a huge accomplishment in my opinion because he’s played on tour and that’s one of my biggest dreams in life,” Wenzler said. “It’s affirming to know that I did something that a PGA Tour player did.”
As a team, Wright State placed third in the Championships with a score of 891; nine strokes more than Cleveland State who won the tournament for the third straight year. The Raiders finished one stroke shy of Oakland.
Senior Cody Nickson finished tied for eighth place, while he, freshman Mitch Lehigh and senior Conner Lash each shot a low round of 70; Lehigh finished 12 while Lash finished tied for 19. Junior Austin Sipe tied for thirty-fifth place with a low round of 77.
“The first day wasn’t the best, but in the last round at one point we were six back of Cleveland State,” Wenzler said. “We played really well the last day, which I was happy with, but the first day we kind of put ourselves out of position and it made it hard to get back.”
Wenzler, a Centerville High School graduate, became the first Raider to win the championship since Brandon Knutson in 2006 and will look to the NCAA Regional selection show to see where he will play next.
“The way he is playing and thinking his way around the golf course, he could go far,” head coach Pete Samborsky said.
“Being with some of the top schools in the country will be hard to battle with. I just try to stick to my own game and not worry about that,” Wenzler said.
The NCAA Regional selection show will be televised on the Golf Channel on Thursday, May 5 at 9:30 a.m. while the first round will begin on Monday, May 16.