MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Kyle Souza of Chico State claimed the Division II Arnold Palmer Award presented by Callaway for earning medalist honors at the NCAA Championships.
Souza’s tournament got off to a rough start when he bogeyed two of his first three holes. He recovered to birdie four of his last 10 holes to sit in fourth place at 2-under 70 after one round. Souza continued his solid play in the second round with three birdies to two bogeys to move into a tie for first with Coker’s Jake Murphy and Zack Van Dolah of Central Missouri.
Souza carded par on his first six holes of the final round of stroke-play competition before posting bogey and double-bogey in two of his last three before making the turn. He would birdie four holes on his final nine and looked to have the tournament in hand after Van Dolah posted back-to-back bogeys to close his round and fall out of a tie for first place. Daniel Young of Lynn - who entered the round two strokes off the lead - would record back-to-back birdies late in his round to force a playoff.
Souza seemed in control again during the first playoff hole when Young missed the green. Young would however pitch to within inches and both players birdied to force a second playoff hole. Both players would again birdie to continue the playoff. Young would again miss the green on his ensuing drive and failed to convert his up-and-down while Souza birdied to claim national medalist honors.