Fjelstul, Rustad earn 2023 NCAA Division III PING All-Region honors

By Becky Walz,

At the NCAA Championships in Kentucky last week the Luther College men’s golf team received good news as junior Jay Fjelstul of Decorah and sophomore Haakon Rustad of Northfield, Minn., received NCAA Division III PING First Team All-Region honors as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).
The duo put together quite the season in 2023, leading the Norse to their second consecutive American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) Championship and ninth appearance in the NCAA Championships. Fjelstul, a junior from Decorah, recorded eight top-10 finishes in 2022-23 and finished top-3 as an individual in both the Luther Spring Classic and A-R-C Championships in the past two weeks. The junior won the Norse home invite with a two-round score of 140 and was named the A-R-C Men’s Golfer of the Week after being one of just three golfers to shoot under par in the tournament. He followed that up with a second place finish at the A-R-C Championships, shooting even par in the second and third rounds to finish the tournament with a three-round score of 220. Entering the NCAA Championships, Fjelstul led the team with a 72.9 stroke average through eight events.
Rustad had a season to remember in 2023, earning medalist honors at the A-R-C Championships after recording three top-10 finishes in the spring season. The sophomore finished sixth and fourth in the two tournaments leading up to the conference championship and earned A-R-C Men’s Golfer of the Week honors for his performance at the Fighting Scot Invite on April 1. His best performance, though, occurred at the A-R-C Championship May 4-6. After shooting an opening round 74, Rustad went on to win medalist honors at the conference championship, holding off Fjelstul to win as an individual with a three-round score of 219. He also lowered his season stroke average to 74.6 entering the NCAA Championships.
Both Fjelstul and Rustad are making their second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championship, having qualified with the Norse in both 2022 and 2023. Additionally, they both now advance to the GCAA All-America ballot, which will be voted on during the national tournament. All-Americans will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

NCAA tournament
The Luther College men’s golf team concluded its impressive 2022-23 season at the NCAA Championships over the weekend. The Norse finished amongst the top-30 teams in the nation, concluding the tournament in 27th. After shooting 308 on the opening day, Luther dropped a handful of strokes on day two, shooting 299 to finish the NCAA Championships with a two-round score of 607 (+31).

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