PHOENIX — Sean Benson will get to play one more collegiate tournament.
The Montana Tech senior fired a 1-under-par 71 in Wednesday’s final round to claim a six-shot win over Rocky Mountain College’s Reece Nilsen at the Frontier Conference men’s golf championships at Papago Golf Course in Phoenix.
“This one’s been on my bucket list for four years, and it feels great to get this one,” Benson said after his first Frontier title.
The win was especially meaningful after former Diggers golf coach Lee Labreche passed away suddenly back in February.
“I could feel his presence with me the whole week,” Benson said. “I have a picture of him in my yardage book, and I looked at that picture a lot these past three days. I kept asking for his help and he kept answering. I definitely felt him with me — I felt that big hand on my shoulder telling me, ‘Partner, it’s all right.’ This really feels good to get it for him and to get it for his family.”
Benson was under par all three rounds, finishing with a 4-under-par total of 212. Nilsen shot the low round of the tournament Wednesday, a 3-under-par 69, to help Rocky edge Tech for the team title, 903-911.
Providence’s Jonny Cielak finished third overall at 222 after a third-round 74, following by Rocky’s Michael Tait at 226.
With the wins, Benson and Rocky’s team advance to the NAIA men’s golf championships, May 21-24 at Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.