Competing amongst a field of 24 teams at the Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, Kan., the Buccaneers tied for eighth place overall in the four-day competition for their best finish in program history, while Thomas became Blinn’s first-ever All-American by tying for fifth individually.

It was a satisfying showing for Blinn head coach David Johnson’s team, which entered the national meet as one of two at-large bids.

“No one expected much from us once we got the at-large bid – except for us,” Johnson said. “This group is a tight bunch, and when I told them we were in, I could tell they had a chip on their shoulder, and they had something to prove. They hung in there all four rounds and came out in the top 10. It was fun to watch as their coach.”

In their second appearance at the national meet, the Bucs totaled 1,175 strokes across four rounds to finish deadlocked with McLennan Community College. Indian Hills Community College won the championship with a total of 1,127.

Blinn’s entire lineup was made up of sophomores, with Thomas leading a group that also included Cameron HubbardCarson WraySam SewellCole McClellan, and Van Miller.

“This group of sophomores will be missed greatly,” added Johnson. “They have set the bar high for future teams here at Blinn.” 

Thomas finished 5-under par and tied Garden City Community College’s Anthony DeSchutter.

The Columbus, Texas, native said based on his recent play at previous tournaments, he believed he could have a big showing in the national tournament. That proved to be the case as Thomas finished tied for the lead in birdies with 19 to go with 41 pars. 

“We played on a really nice golf course, and I hit the ball really well and had a lot of opportunities to make birdie, and I did,” said Thomas. “I think this tournament was the best I hit with my driver in any tournament all year, and I was able to get my wedges and short irons in my hands pretty quickly. Before the tournament, I felt like I had been trending in a good direction with my play, so it was nice to finally see everything come together. I’ve been working toward this type of performance for a while now, so it was good to see the results come from the hard work.”

(Pictured: Blinn sophomore Carson Wray placed 47th overall)

Wray finished inside the top 50, shooting 8-over for a five-way tie for 47th place. 

A total of 135 golfers competed in the tournament.

The Bucs bested their previous team finish of 19th, which came during their first appearance at the 2021 national championship.

“What a job well done,” said Johnson. “Hats off to them.”

Blinn’s men’s and women’s golf programs launched in the fall of 2019 with Johnson at the helm.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 43 NJCAA national championships since 1987

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