The men’s golf team took a trip down south last weekend to play in the Ashland Invitational in Ohio.
The ’Cats finished the two day tournament in 11th place out of 13 teams.
Head coach Dean Ellis said Saturday was a rough first day for the Wildcats, and he was not happy at all with the team’s overall performance.
“We had a very poor day on Saturday; the whole team played poorly,” Ellis said. “We got into a position that was difficult for us to move up in the standings because of the way we played.”
Sophomore Jared Reid said he was disheartened by the round on Saturday, and said the weather had a bit to do with the team’s poor performance.
“The tournament was kind of disappointing in a way, but there were some good things,” Reid said. “The weather was a factor; it was cold and rainy. As a team, we had our worst tournament of the spring.”
Ellis said the team stepped up their game on Sunday and played much better than the previous day.
“On the second day, we had one of the best rounds of the spring,” Ellis said. “The tournament really went from bad to good, but it’s unfortunate that it went in that order.”
Reid said sophomore Mike Murphy had a great round on Sunday, and his results boosted the team’s confidence.
“The second day the weather was a bit better, and some guys played pretty good, especially Mike Murphy,” Reid said. “He tied for the best round of the tournament. He played really well and it was good to see his results help our team.”
Individually, Murphy finished in 17th place with a total combined score of 154. He finished the tournament plus 10-over par.
“I didn’t play as well as I would have liked on the first day,” Murphy said.
The ’Cats are back on the road this weekend as they travel to Elyria, Ohio to compete in the U.P. Challenge and the GLIAC Preview.
“But I was able to make some good swings and putts on the second day to put together a good round.”
Reid said he didn’t think his individual performance was very good, but he is still positive as he continues to work on his game.
“I didn’t play very well, I was really hoping for at least a top 20 finish to help the team in a better way than I did,” Reid said. “I am still working on some things to help me play better, but the results haven’t really been there this spring. I am still working on it, and hopefully with this weekend, not only will I improve but I know a lot of guys on the team are hoping to play better as well.”
Ellis said the team as a whole needs to be more consistent in their playing, and he hopes they will be able to gain a bit of consistency through practice.
“Going from one day shooting in the 80s to the next with Mike shooting in the 70s, we just need to get more consistent through our lineup,” Ellis said. “We have a couple days of practice, hopefully the weather holds out.”
Reid said the team just needs to keep working and improving, and the consistency will come with experience and practice.
“We all have been working on different things to help our swing and become better golfers,” Reid said. “It will pay off but it hasn’t yet with the results this spring. We just need to play more and get used to everything. I just think time and practice will only help that.”
The team will be heading back out on the road to Elyria, Ohio to compete in the U.P. Challenge on Friday, April 27. The Wildcats will then compete in the GLIAC Preview also in Elyria on Saturday, April 28.
“The two tournaments we are competing in are special events,” Ellis said. “The U.P. Classic is basically a match played against Lake Superior State University. We do that in the practice round at Elyria Country Club.”
Ellis said the GLIAC Preview is just a one-day tournament to help the teams prepare for the GLIAC Championship that will be held at the Elyria Country Club in the fall.
Reid said he thinks the Wildcats will have the advantage for the GLIAC Preview due to their overall young age and experience playing together. For the preview, Reid said teams don’t take their seniors because they won’t be there next year to compete in the fall season.
“We have the advantage because we are traveling with the same team that we have had all spring,” Reid said. “I think the results will be much better because we will be more comfortable playing with the same guys while other schools will be bringing new kids to the meet with less experience. I think this weekend we should do really well and get some momentum to bring us into the summer and the fall season.”