Men’s golf looks to improve after last fall’s play
TNE Editor
/ Categories: RiverHawk Athletics, Golf

Men’s golf looks to improve after last fall’s play

Published 2/8/18

Dustin Teenor

TNE Writer

Men’s golf is getting ready for another semester of play, but the team is hoping to do better than last fall’s effort.

“We definitely had a disappointing fall,” said Matthew Willingham, Broken Arrow senior. “I think the number one thing we must work on moving forward in the spring is consistency. We have talented guys, we just have to do a better job of playing three solid rounds per tournament. We don't have to play out of our minds or anything, just to contend in tournaments. It's just going to take solid play from everybody. We have a great opportunity to come out in the spring and contend at tournaments. We already got off to a good competitive start in qualifying. We wrapped up with four guys in the lineup, and it took a three-man playoff to decide who got the final spot. I think that early competitiveness will translate to the season for us.”

The team played in five tournaments last fall and only placed in the top 10 as a team in two of those outings. The golfers had their best tournament at St. Joseph Golf Course for the Missouri Western State Invitational, where the team placed seventh out of 20 teams. The best round of tournament came from Bryce Newton, Healdton senior, who shot a 219 (77-73-71) making him tied for 10th as an individual.

“As a team I think we could be a little smarter and grind a little harder on our bad days,” said Newton. “Those two things will help us to rely on each other knowing that all five guys are out there fighting for each other. When you have that kind of trust in your teammates, it takes some pressure off individually, allowing you to just put as low of a score out there as you possibly can.”

Scott Varner, NSU gold head coach, added three new additions to the team this year: Aubrey Farrell, Sydney Fork, Nova Scotia, Canada freshman, Harrison Gearhart, Broken Arrow freshman and Grant Hynes, Fayetteville, Arkansas freshman. The three freshmen did not qualify to play in any tournaments last fall, but the older teammates can tell there is a future for the new men on the team.

“The three freshmen we have are extremely talented,” said Willingham. “I've known Harrison for quite a while since he went to the same high school as me in Broken Arrow. He has a great mental game and does a great job in staying in the same mindset whether he's playing well or not. When he's playing you wouldn't be able to tell if he's scoring well or not because he's so relaxed. Grant is one of the better ball strikers on the team. He's one of those guys that you can watch on the range and it's just a clinic. Aubrey, who's also one of my roommates, is crazy accurate. He will be the first to tell you he's not the longest hitter, but if I had to count on one person to hit a fairway and green it'd be him. They all three have crazy potential. I know it takes just a bit to get used to the college life and college golf schedule, but their upsides are high. They all have different games, but they also all have the same competitive nature about them that is just as impressive.”

The team will be going to San Antonio on Feb. 19 - 20 for the Rattler Invitational at Dominion Golf Course.  This will be the team’s first tournament of the spring semester, and the team is hoping their good chemistry can lead them to a great back half of the golf season.

“Our team gets along very well, which I think helps us on the golf course,” said Griffen Matthias, Ankeny, Iowa junior. “We like to be competitive and that’s always a big help also.”

 


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