Tommie sophomore Pete Sienko on Wednesday was selected MIAC Men's Golf Athlete of the Week. That's no surprise, as the Spring Lake Park, Minn., native won medalist honors in a field of 50 players in last weekend's 54-hole conference tournament.
No. 15-ranked St. Thomas came up one stroke short of champion Augsburg, but it did record the program's fourth top-two finish in seven seasons.
UST has the conference's best scoring average this fall at 297, and is ranked 11th best in Division III's Golfstat computer rankings.
Sienko shot 71-73-72/216 at the Bunker Hills course in Coon Rapids for a three-shot victory. He's just the third Tommie men's golfer to win MIAC medalist honors in the last 34 years, joining Tom Wroblewski (2001) and co-medalist Alex Kapraun (2011).
He stayed on pace with his conference-best 72.15 stroke average this fall.
This was his first medalist honor in five tournaments, although he has been close to the top in each competition as he:
- finished first out of 15 players in a dual meet vs. Waldorf with a 70;
- tied for fourth out of 102 players at the Augsburg Invite with rounds of 73- and 70;
- tied for third out of 103 at the UW-Eau Claire tourney with rounds of 75 and 73;
- was second of 110 at the St. John's Invite with scores of 74 and 71;
- tied for second out of 112 at the Gustavus TC Classic with scores of 73, 71 and 72.
Sienko placed seventh in the 2014 Minnesota State meet for Spring Lake Park after rounds of 75 and 72 at Bunker Hills. He was a scholarship player in 2014-15 at North Dakota State but transferred this fall to UST.
Sienko and his St. Thomas teamates are set to compete in the elite Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational. The 54-hole event takes place Oct. 11-13 in San Destin, Fla.
The 18-team field features nine of the top-12 team finishers at the 2015 NCAA Division III Championship. St. Thomas finished sixth in the Golfweek Invitational in October 2014.
This year's field includes 13 teams ranked in the Golfstat computer rankings:
- No. 1-ranked Methodist (N.C.);
- No. 2 Berry (Ga.);
- No. 3 Oglethorpe (Ga.);
- No. 6 Washington & Lee (Va.);
- No. 7 Southwestern (Texas);
- No. 8 Centre (Ky.);
- No. 9 St. John (N.Y.) Fisher;
- No. 10 Schreiner (Texas);
- No. 11 St. Thomas;
- No. 12 Huntingdon (Ala.);
- No. 14 Rhodes (Tenn.);
- No. 15 Illinois Wesleyan;
- No. 23 St. John's