Men's golfer John VanDerLaan is Florida Southern's first Sunshine State Conference Player-of-the-Week for the 2016-17 academic year following his season-opening performance at the Rod Myers Invitational last weekend. The junior from Southbury, Connecticut was the Moccasins' top golfer in a field of 14 teams and 82 total participants in the annual tournament hosted by Duke University.
It was a strong start to the year for VanDerLaan, a 2-time All-American for the Moccasins who was the individual medalist at the 2015 SSC Championships and had the Moccasins' best scores during match play at last year's Division II National Finals. At Duke, VanDerLaan finished in a tie for 18th place with a 3-round score of over-par 217 (74-73-70). He had Florida Southern's best score in the first and third rounds, and was only one stroke off the best score in round two. The final round 70 put him among the top-10 for the day.
Florida Southern was the only Division II school in the tournament, and was competing against four top-25 Division I schools plus one other that fell just one spot out of the rankings. The last time the Moccasins played in a mostly-Division I tournament was in the fall of 2013 at the Doc Gimmler hosted by St. John's University at Bethpage.