As the season nears the conference tournament, the men’s golf team looks to repeat as champions at the end of April.
Photo by: Ryan Rerich
The MBU golf team has seen everything this season, including snow, rain, hail, gale force winds and below-freezing temperatures that have tested not only their physical games but also their mental strength on the golf course.
The team started off this fall season at the THE CLUB at Porto Cima in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., and played below their potential as a team.
Second to last place in the tournament was a rough start to the season. The three returning freshmen from the national-qualifying team of the 2013 season did not expect to start this poorly.
The experience took over for the next tournament, and the Spartans consequently rebounded to take first place in their home tournament.
At Gateway National Golf Links in the MBU Fall Gateway Classic, lone senior Jared Paddick, sport management major, took the individual title, closing with a second-round score of 70 and leading his team to a one-shot victory over Hannibal La-Grange.
In the third and final tournament of the fall season, the MBU golf team had a decent showing against the best teams in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics at the prestigious TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., with a 13th place finish.
Now the team would wait until early March to play in weather they would not enjoy.
March came around and winter stayed in St. Louis as the area was hit hard with snow, and the cold weather was tough on the golfers’ practice schedule.
The first tournament of the spring brought cold weather along with it on March 24 at The Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
This is the first time the MBU golf team would experience snow on the golf course and many of the players’ scores suffered because of it.
The team took home a seventh-place finish out of 10 teams. The weather would not improve two weeks later as the men headed off to Indianapolis to compete in the NAIA Classic at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course @ the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Little did they know that they would have to face the cold, rain, wind and even hail on the already difficult golf course.
The Spartans battled back and forth and gave it all they had despite the near-impossible conditions.
They finished 11th place out of 17 teams and still hoped for better weather in the upcoming weeks.
At this point in the season in mid- to late-April, the Spartans are looking ahead directly at the conference tourney at the end of the month.
As the defending conference champions, the Spartans look to make another run at this year’s title.
The Spartans look to make a huge upset, just as they did last year, hopefully playing in normal golfing conditions and mild spring weather.
The season has not panned out for the team so far, but neither has the weather.
Just as the weather looks to be turning around for the better, the MBU golf team looks to ride the calm breeze to another American Midwest Conference Championship and a trip to the national tournament in Daytona Beach.