Mavericks’ Prater qualifies for golf nationals

Colin Prater wasn’t able to keep his lead in windy conditions Wednesday at the NCAA South Central/West Regional in Austin, Texas, but he still qualified for the Division II national championships.

The Colorado Mesa freshman shot a four-over-par 76 in the third and final round at the Grey Rock Golf Course to finish sixth with a three-over-par 219. He is the first Mesa men’s golfer to qualify for nationals.

The top two individuals not on a regional-qualifying team advance to the national tournament May 19-21 in Allendale, Mich.

Prater was the top individual not on a team. He finished eight strokes ahead of the third individual not on a qualifying team.

“I’m very excited,” Prater said. “This is pretty much a dream come true for me. All the hard work paid off.

“It looks like I qualified by the skin of my teeth.”

He entered the final round tied for first place, but the wind picked up in the afternoon and took its toll.

“The course was kind of tough,” Prater said. “It was set up tough. The wind blew a lot and dried out the course. I played relatively well, except one hole I took an eight (No. 11) on a par 4.”

Derek Oland of Midwestern State (Texas) took individual medalist honors with a four-under-par 212.

St. Edward’s (Texas) won the team title. Western New Mexico placed fifth and qualified for nationals as a team.


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