The spring golfing season has begun, and both the men’s and women’s teams are off to strong starts. Both teams have been able to get a handful of tournaments in, and are getting warmed up and ready to go into the larger championship season.
The women’s team recently competed in Arizona, where they finished in sixth place at the George Fox Westbrook Invitational. The team finished with a score of 633 over the the two-day tournament, with the girl’s shooting a 313 final round. The team had a handful of standout performances, such as sophomore Emilee Strausburg’s fifth place finish, earning the All-Tournament honor. Strausburg shot a plus one on a par-72 in the final round, successfully bringing herself up from 8th place.
Strausburg was followed closed by teammates Hanna Niner, who received 27th place individually, and Shelby DeVore, who received 13th overall. The women’s team is coming into the season with high expectations, after winning SCAC in the 2016 season. After losing seniors, the girls are focused on competing and building the team as much as possible.
“In regards to the team it’s really exciting to be a part of such a group. Having a team makes practices more fun with all of the different personalities. Everyone’s really supportive of each other as well, no matter each other’s skill level,” Strausburg said.
On the men’s side, the team is likewise showing promise for competition season. The men finished the 2015–16 season with an extremely close second place finish at SCAC, finishing only one stroke behind Southwestern University. Going into this season with an increased focus and a large number of seniors, the men’s team is focused on making this season a success for the seniors.
“The team changes so much each year based on the people on the team, freshmen come in and seniors graduate. This team has an incredible passion for the sport. We are a relatively old team year this year, and everyone on the team has an enthusiasm that creates a really great atmosphere,” said Trevor Warner.
In the Schriener Shootout three weeks ago, the men’s team made great strides both individually and as a team. The team as a whole managed to improve on their first-round score by 37 strokes, finishing the two rounds with 591. Redmond Lyons came away as the team’s highest scorer, with a minus six on a par-66 in second round, helping him make the jump from 19th place to fourth. Lyons received SCAC golfer of the week accolades for his performance. His teammates Trevor Warner, who finished plus four for 11th, and Max Mitchell, who finished at 14th, came in close behind him. William Street helped round out the team with the best jump, managing to go from 42nd place to 17th in the second round.
The men are coming off a successful tournament at the West Cup in La Verne, California this past weekend, where they ended third of the 16 teams, the men are now looking forward to the West Region Tournament in Georgetown, Texas.
The team started the tournament strong, finishing off on Monday with a 299, which placed them in second place behind the University of the Redlands. Senior Travis Hindle finished the day in fourth out of 80 players with a plus two on a par 73 course, placing him one stroke behind the leader. His teammate senior Redmond Lyons began in fifth, shooting a plus seven.
The following day, the golf team came back strong, with Lyons rising to third place in the tournament with a par-71, and a 7-over 220 in the field, which placed him only three strokes behind the winner of the tournament. Hindle continued in fourth, shooting 77. Their teammates also finished strong, with first-year Max Mitchell coming in 35th, and senior Will Street and junior Corbin Cormier tying for 46th place. Overall the team finished with a 906 total, shooting 308 on Tuesday, which earned them third place out of sixteen teams, many of whom are nationally ranked. The team is looking forward to future competitions, where they look to bring down their team and individual strokes.
“Personally, I just want to focus on being patient of the course and shooting as low a score as I can,” Lyons said. “I think our biggest team goal is to finished the year with some strong showings, and ultimately go and win conference at the end of the year.”
The women’s golf team has also been successful this season, and is looking forward to the West Regional Invitational in Georgetown this upcoming Monday and Tuesday. The team has scored many SCAC players of the week, with sophomore Emilee Strausburg receiving the most recent award after her sixth place finish at the Westbrook Invitational. Previous to her was senior Hanna Niner, who as a senior is currently working on both finishing her final season as strong as possible, while enjoying all the opportunities afforded to her through golf.
“For me personally I just have to focus on hitting more greens this season to take some pressure off my short game. Our team’s major goal right now is to win conference this coming April,” Niner said. “I always like flying to tournaments and getting a little travel in. There are a couple of girls on the team who I have become really close to, so it is nice to remain friends with certain people through college and think back on the fun times we’ve had in the past.”