Dalton State Golfer S.M. Lee Wins NAIA Individual National Title


(dalton state athletics) SILVIS, Ill. – Dalton State golfer S.M. Lee won the NAIA individual title on Friday, and he helped Dalton State to a second place finish in the team competition  at the NAIA National Championships played at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. The Roadrunners, (+4, 1140), finished behind #1 Oklahoma City, (-9, 1127), but stayed ahead of the rest of the pack for the runner-up spot.

Texas Wesleyan, (+5, 1141), jumped up two spots after a 3-under-par team round to claim third. Coastal Georgia, (+6, 1142), slid down two spots to take fourth, while Keiser, (+8, 1144), rounded out the Top-5.

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All-American S.M. Lee added to his stunning list of achievements, becoming the second Dalton State golfer to win individual medalist honors at the National Championship, joining Sean Elliott in 2015. Lee turned to the back 9 at even-par after carding two birdies and two bogeys on the front. Birdies at Nos. 14 & 15 pushed him to 2-under. He would finish out with a (-2, 69) to take the victory by eight strokes and finish as the only player to score in the 60’s all four days of the tournament.

Sophomore Ben Rebne came up big again, making a statement on the back 9 with three birdies and closing with a 1-under, 70. Rebne would find some trouble on the front and make the turn at 1-over. Another bogey at No. 11 would put him at 2-over, but three birdies down the stretch reversed his fortune and saw him finish in red figures.

Dalton Johnson bounced back from a bad day on Thursday to post (+1, 72) on the afternoon. Johnson would make the turn to the back 9 at (E), but picked up a quick birdie at No. 10. He would give it right back with a bogey at No. 11. Another bogey at No. 17 would dash his hopes of finishing under par.

All-American P.J. Shields finished out with a (+2, 73). He would turn four front 9 bogeys into three back 9 birdies to finish out his National Tournament strong.

Senior  Chase Cole got into some early trouble with a triple-bogey at No. 2, but had a fantastic recovery to play the rest of his day at even-par and finish with a (+3, 74).

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.