Deutsch, Bods romp through MIAA Championships

Eric Smith

One down, two to go. The Washburn Ichabod golf team completed the first leg of their postseason last Monday with a victory at the MIAA Championships in Branson, Mo.

The Ichabods won the three-round tournament with a 32-over 884, 17 strokes ahead of Central Missouri.

“We played really well the first day, getting out to a 17-shot lead,” said Ryan Deutsch. “On the second day we just played solid, tying with Central [Missouri].”

The Washburn men won their second MIAA conference championship in a row and their fifth in six years. It was also their tenth conference win in a row.

“We played well as a team,” said Matt Lazzo. “There is always room for improvement, but we were pretty pleased with our performance.”

The Ichabods also had the individual champion, Deutsch, who finished with a 4-over 217 after beating Central Missouri’s Justin Yoder on a playoff hole.

“In the first round I gave away a few shots that I shouldn’t have,” said Deutsch. “In the second round I finished with birdies on the last three holes to get under par for the round.

“The second day, I got off to a good start getting down to even, but struggled a little bit. I managed to hold on though.”

Deutsch’s first victory of the year gave the Washburn golfers four different individual winners in conference tournaments on the season and five different winners overall.

“It really shows the depth of our team when five different guys win a tournament. It’s like someone new is winning every week,” said Lazzo.

The MIAA Most Valuable Player award went to Lazzo after he placed fifth with an 8-over 221. Lazzo beat out Matt Ewald, the reigning conference MVP, for the award when Ewald tied for 10th with a 13-over 226.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win the [conference MVP],” said Lazzo. “But [Matt and I] both agreed that we would have rather swept the conference as a team more than win that award.”

John Robbins finished in 9th place with an 11-over 224 while Matt Salome also tied for 10th with a 13-over 226.

Doug Hamilton received MIAA Coach of the Year after leading the Ichabods to another successful season. It was his fifth time receiving the award.

“He does a good job of letting us do our own thing,” said Deutsch. “If we need help, he’s always there to give us advice and support us.”

With the first-place conference finish the Ichabods earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Great Lakes/Central Super Regional May 5-7 in Findlay, Ohio.

“If we just keep playing solid like we have been, we should be fine and be able to take care of business,” said Deutsch.

This week the Ichabods will get back to practice in preparation just for another shot at Nationals.

“Monday through Saturday is work hard time because Nationals doesn’t even matter yet,” said Lazzo. “We have to get through regionals first.”