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Two Hawks Golfers Qualify For National Championship

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NORFOLK – Two members of the Northeast Community College golf team have qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Men’s Golf Championship. Sophomores Justin Bruntz, Fort Collins, CO, and Conner Watson, Omaha, will play in the tournament at Goose Pond Colony Resort Golf Couse in Scottsboro, AL, May 19-22.

The two qualified after competing in the Iowa Community College Athletic Association Region XI Tournament last week in Panora, IA. The top five individual golfers move on to the national championship.

Bruntz shot a two-day score of 154 and finished third. He was pleased with his finish at Panora.

“I just worked out every day by going to the course and I felt better every time I went. The competition is always tough and everyone played so close. There were guys within two strokes that could easily win the tournament, but finished in 20th place. It couldn’t get much closer in terms of competition.

Bruntz is looking forwarding to the Alabama tournament.

“It’s all fun for me, but I’m still a little nervous to be honest. I can’t wait to see the course, from what I have seen the course looks awesome.”

Watson was involved in a playoff to qualify for nationals. He faced two players from Des Moines Area Community College with all three shooting 156 after regulation. Watson defeated the other two players in a one hole playoff to move on to nationals.

Watson trusted in his training to prepare him for where he is today.

“I put in a lot of hard work this semester, even coming back from knee surgery I had in January. I had to reteach myself some things, but it kind of played to my advantage because I could break it down and start from the basics. Also being a sophomore, I had already played the course at Panora, so that gave me the knowledge like where I could miss or take advantage of things.

He’s also looking forward to heading to Alabama.

“It’s exciting to get to go to nationals. I’m glad to be doing it with J.B. (Bruntz) and that there are two of us. It’s going to be cool to go down there.way different that anything than we play up here. It’s a different style of course and there will be players we don’t know and we’ll see some things we’re not normally used to, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Brad Bosh, Hawks coach, calls Bruntz and Watson qualifying for the national championship as a great accomplishment for his players and the Northeast golf program.

“It’s awesome. This is something we’ve been really working hard to achieve. It’s the first time we have sent anybody to the national tournament since the program (at Northeast) was reinstated in 2012. Kirkwood won the Region XI Tournament and they’re are taking five players followed by the next five qualifiers at the regional tournament. Two of them are ours.”

Des Moines Area Community College, North Iowa Area Community College, and Ellsworth Community College each had a player qualify along with Bruntz and Watson. “So we’re the only other school behind Kirkwood that had more than one individual qualify. That’s a huge accomplishment,” Bosh said. “It’s going to be a fun atmosphere at nationals. They will have it set up like a PGA (Professional Golfers Association) Tour event that will include opening and closing ceremonies. It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Conner and Justin.”

Other Hawks golfers at the Region XI Tournament included Michael Brockhaus, Humphrey, and Michael Bergquist, Cheyenne, WY, with 160, and Preston Peters, Bancroft, 161.

In addition to their finish at regionals, Bruntz and Watson were named to the Iowa Community College Athletic Association’s Division II All-Conference Second Team while Brockhaus and Bergquist were named to the Honorable Mention Team.

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Two Hawks Golfers Qualify For National Championship