Behind a season-best outing from senior Kyle Wittenbach, the Bulldogs’ men’s golf team placed 11th out of 25 teams at the NCAA-II Midwest Region Tournament II this weekend.
At the two-round tournament, which was held at the Cherry Blossom Golf Course at Georgetown, Ky., Wittenbach posted a score of 144 on the weekend to finish tied for second with Wayne State’s Steve Fedewa and Casey Pyne from Lewis University. Thomas Hay from Drury University claimed the first-place honors with a one-under par score of 143 in two rounds of play.
“The conditions were tough and it was a deep field. My goal was to win, so coming up short at the end was rather disappointing,” said Wittenbach.
The Bulldogs shot a 304 team score in the first round on April 2 and tallied a 305-stroke outing in the final round on April 3 to finish the weekend at 33-strokes over par. Missouri-St.Louis took home first-place honors with a score of 588 (+12) for the tournament. Wayne State finished seven strokes off the lead to clinch second place.
“Overall, as a team we made a good amount of progress since last week in Alabama,” said Wittenbach. “Considering the progress we have made since just last Tuesday, we know what we need to improve on and how much we have already improved having practiced for eight days since October.”
No other Bulldog finished in the top-20 individual places, as the next closest Bulldog was senior Garrett Simons with a 23rd-place score of 150 (+6), tying with 11 other golfers.
Junior Ian Straayer finished inside the top 50 with a score of 153 (+9) to finish with a claim of 46th place.
Ferris finished the first round in a tie for fifth before slipping to 11th, despite shooting just one stroke over its first-round score.
Up next for the team is a trip to Noblesville, Ind., to compete in the NCAA-II Midwest Region Tournament III on April 10-11. The tournament will be held at the Purgatory Golf Course.
Wittenbach said the team will take advantage of the practice round to get used to the course at Purgatory. But while the team will look to come out victorious this weekend, Wittenbach said the team has its sights set a little down the line.
“We have our sights set on the Super-Regional in four weeks, which happens to be at Cherry Blossom, where we just played,” said Wittenbach. n