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Golf starts spring season winning in Myrtle Beach

Golf starts spring season winning in Myrtle Beach

By John Bray

While many students returned home to enjoy their spring break with family and friends, the Kenyon College golf team traveled to sunny Myrtle Beach, S.C. to compete in their first two matches of the 2013 spring season.

The team’s first match was a foursome with Albion College, Elms College and rival Denison University. Jack Tomashot ’16 hit a match-low 76, leading the Lords to a second-place finish. The Lords scored a combined 320 as a team, which left them seven strokes over Denison’s winning mark of 313.

The Lords’ second match featured a head-to-head showdown with North Central College, which the Lords won 4.5 to 2.5. Alex Blickle ’15, Zander Nethercutt ’16, Jordan Harlacher ’16, and Tomashot all won their individual matches. Jacob Fait ’16 halved his match while Jason Cinti ’16 and Chris Majkowski ’16 suffered defeat. This was the Lords’ only head-to-head match of the season.

As classes resumed, the Lords packed up their clubs and returned north where their strong start to the season continued. Last weekend, the Lords competed in the two-day Purple and White Invite hosted by Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. The Invite featured 13 teams, many of which hail from NCAA Division II schools. The Lords took on stiff competition and unfavorable weather conditions and finished in fifth place. Tomashot again led the Lords with a two-day score of 152. The Lords could have placed even higher if captain Blickle hadn’t injured his back. Blickle finished the event with an impressive score of 159 while playing through pain and trying not to let it affect his swing.

Blickle summed up his performance: “I hit the ball great but couldn’t capitalize with the putter or recover with it when I had to,” he said. “As a team it was our most consistent performance and [it] showed how high our ceiling can be.”

This success came as no surprise to first-year head coach Grant Wallace. However, like any coach trying to build a competitive program, he is hungry for more.

“I am satisfied with our performance in Myrtle Beach as well as the Purple/White Invitational, but I know we can do better,” Wallace said.

The Lords’ roster consists of strong “ball strikers,” as Wallace calls them, but like most golfers, they must continue to work on their short game ラ chipping and putting ラ in order to maintain and build on their striking early season play.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the team’s early success is the players’ youth. At the Purple and White Invite, four out of the five scoring golfers were first years, leaving Blickle as the lone scoring golfer who has a full collegiate season’s worth of experience. Wallace does not think that inexperience will become an issue later on during the season.

“With the guys’ histories of playing in big-time tournaments, this kind of pressure will help the guys in big situations,” Wallace said. “Freshman nerves will happen, but keeping a clear mind and taking the round one shot at a time will pay off in having a successful season.”

Wallace is optimistic about the team’s chances in upcoming competition because of their work ethic. “I know that we will get better as we get deeper into the season,” he said. “All of the team members work extremely hard, whether on the course or in the weight room. I believe it is this hard work that has contributed to our success this season.”

The Lords will be back in action next April 5-6 at the Muskingum University Invitational.

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