To win Sunday's team crown at the 2018 MIAC Championships, one golf team had to beat gloomy weather, fatigue, nerves and pressure, and at least four teams that still had a realistic path to the championship.
After a near 12-hour day of preparation and play, No. 13-ranked St. Thomas stood alone on the awards stand, repeating as team champion.
Heavy rain in Monday's forecast prompted Sunday's round to expand from 18 to 36 holes.
With four new players in its five-man lineup, UST held off Gustavus and Augsburg by four strokes and secured the league's automatic berth into next May's national meet.
Ranked St. John's finished 15 shots back in fourth place, and first-round co-leader St. Olaf placed fifth 21 back.
St. Thomas had two All-MIAC honorees with top-five finishes, plus three other top-25 placers.
The Toms shot 291 on Saturday and went into the final day tied for first place. A 298 score Sunday morning left the Toms in the lead, two shots ahead of Augsburg, with three other teams within 11 shots of their score. UST closed with a 293 on the pressure-filled afternoon round and had just enough to edge the Gusties and Auggies.
Junior Emmet Herb had a steady 54-hole run with scores of 70-71-73/214 and tied for second in a field of 50 players. But every Tommie contribued at some point for Coach Scott Proshek's team.
Senior Derek Farrell closed with a 74 on the final 18 on the way to his 227.
Senior Jack Ritchay shot a 74 on day one en route to his 230 final total.
The Tommies have concluded their fall season and can prepare for a busy spring.
This is the sixth top-two MIAC team finish for St. Thomas Men's Golf in 10 years, including three championships.
St. Thomas and St. Olaf are tied for the lead after 18 holes Saturday at the three-day, 54-hole MIAC Men's Golf Championships in Jordan, Minn.
The Toms and Oles each scored 291 in the opening round on a chilly, cloudy day to lead the 10-team field.
Augsburg (298), St. John's (301), Bethel (305) and Gustavus (307) hold down the 3-4-5-6 places.
Junior Emmet Herb shot 70 and is tied for second place in a field of 50 players. Sophomore Peder Larson shot 71 and is tied for fifth. Jack Ritchay (74), Matt Mellin (76) and Derek Farrell (76) round out the Tommie players.
The rain in the Sunday and Monday weather forecasts moved up the start of Sunday's round to 8 a.m. The new plan calls for playing 27 and possibly all 36 remaining holes on the day if conditions allow.