The Lake Forest College men's golf team claimed the program's first conference title since 1957 on Saturday, placing first by just two strokes at the Midwest Conference Championship Tournament at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford, Illinois. The Foresters are now headed to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament in just their fourth season since the program ended a 42-year hiatus and returned to varsity status in 2014.
Sophomore Jacob Krugman turned in the Foresters' best round of the day and his lowest of the three-day tournament with a 73. After leading the field in pars but failing to make a birdie in the first 36 holes, he opened play on Saturday with a four on the 520-yard, par-5 first. Another birdie on the 130-yard, par-3 third hole got him to two-under but he made the turn at even-par after bogeys at six and nine. Krugman birdied the 393-yard, par-4 12th but was two-over the rest of the way to finish the weekend tied-for-third in the 33-player field with a 54-hole score of 226. His 39 pars on the weekend were the most of any player in the tournament.
Senior Davis DeKorte was the next Forester in the overall standings, finishing a shot behind Krugman at 227 after Saturday's round of 81. DeKorte, last year's medalist, tied for sixth this season to become the program's first three-time All-MWC honoree.
Joining Krugman as a two-time all-conference player was Lake Forest junior Ricky Schmidt, who fired a 76 on Saturday to place 10th at 231. Schmidt had a birdie on the 417-yard, par-4 ninth to make the turn at 38 and birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes to post the same score on the back nine.
Sophomore Austin Aksoy went out in 43 and needed the same number of shots to came back in with an 86 on Saturday. He finished 21st with a 54-hole score of 247, six strokes ahead of Forester senior Durham Ghelfi.
While Lake Forest won the event by two strokes, the margin of victory would have been considerably larger had junior Elijah Collins not been disqualified due to a scorecard infraction. Collins had completed the 6,615-yard course in just 77 shots and would have been tied-for-second overall with a three-day score of 225.
The Foresters final score for the tournament was 918 and Knox College was the runner-up at 920. Illinois College's 933 was good for third place, six strokes ahead of St. Norbert College. Monmouth College was fifth at 953 and Grinnell College's three players competed as individuals.
The four-day NCAA Division III Championships will be played at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina, May 15-18.