Bengtson places top 50 at NAIA Men's Golf Championships
SILVIS, Ill. -- Shorter University senior Arvid Bengtson shot a 9-over 80 in Friday's fourth and final round to finish in a tie for 50th at the 2011 NAIA Men's Golf National Championship at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
Bengtson, the 2011 Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year and tournament medalist, fired a 2-under 69 in Thursday's third round to surge into the top 40 of the individual rankings and earn a berth into Friday's action despite the Hawks being cut in the hunt for a team title.
The magic wasn't there for the 2010 NAIA and PING All-American on Friday, but Bengtson's legacy as one of the best golfers in Shorter history was already well established before he approached the tee for the final time as a Hawk.
Hampered by treacherous weather conditions throughout the 2011 championships, Bengtson finished his Shorter career with a four-day total of 74-81-69-80=304 to finish +20 for the championships.
The national championship result marked the first time all season that Bengtson had finished outside of the top 10. His 2010-11 campaign included a pair of medalist finishes -- in March at the Lee University Invitational and most recently at the SSAC Championships when he outlasted teammate Matt Youmans in a playoff to capture the conference crown.
After carding a fifth-place finish at last year's national tournament playing as an individual, it was Bengtson's hope that his teammates would join him in Illinois this time around.
Bengtson emerged as a leader for Shorter's ultra-young squad this season. He spearheaded a youthful, but talented, group of Hawks, whose national tournament roster included three freshmen -- Youmans, Ethan Lambert and Erwan Vieilledent -- making their first-ever trip to nationals and junior Nico van Rensberg.
Spearheading his team, Bengtson led Shorter to nine top-three finishes, a run that included tournament championships at the University of Mobile Fall Classic in November, the Coastal Georgia Invitational in February and the Docuteam Invitational at Barnsley Gardens in March, and a No. 9 ranking in the final regular season NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
Bengtson's final round at this year's national championship was his only round without a birdie -- he posted a tournament-high four birdies in Thursday's third round that brought him up to a tie for 31st entering Friday's play.