Before October Break, the Lords ended their fall season on a high note, capturing second place at their home BSN Fall Invitational.
The Lords opened the invitational aggressively and with confidence on the familiar Apple Valley Golf Club course, shooting an impressive 297. Jordan Harlacher ’16, who shot a one-under-par 71, led them individually.
It is not commonplace to see the Lords score under 300 in a tournament’s opening round, especially in rainy conditions. But they remained poised, concentrating on their goal of winning the invitational outright. Their remarkable round put them in position to do so.
The stormy weather continued during Monday’s final round. Almost every team’s score was affected, but its impact on the Lords was minimal. The Lords completed the final round with a score of 302. Mason McCool ’17 led the Lords with a round of 74.
While the Lords put forth a great effort, their two strong rounds were not enough to surpass rival Wittenberg University, which shot 581, compared to the Lords’ 599. This was the Lords’ third-straight second-place finish. Harlacher and McCool were the lone scoring Lords to finish in the top 10. Harlacher came in third, while McCool was 10th.
Head Coach Grant Wallace said he saw only positives in his team’s performance.“It was awesome,” he said. “The guys felt confident on the course. They finally are at the point where they can compete each week.”
Usual high scorers Alex Blickle ’15 and Jake Fait ’16 struggled a bit but persevered and put together good rounds.
“If one guy isn’t playing well in our lineup, we have a lot of depth; they can pick him up,” Wallace said of the team.
Maybe the biggest surprise of the weekend was first year Sadiq Jiwa ’18. Jiwa’s score did not count toward the Lords’ overall score, but that did not hold him back. Jiwa put together rounds of 75 and 73, which would have been good enough for fourth place overall.
With the conclusion of the fall season, the Lords will have to wait till the spring to hit the links again. Their spring campaign will open in South Carolina where they will compete in a field with numerous nationally ranked opponents.
The Lords have improved a considerable amount throughout the fall, according to Wallace. “From August until last week we came a long way,” he said. “We have 110 birdies in the fall. We only had 95 all of last year.”
The improvement will continue throughout the winter, or at least when spring hits there won’t be as much rust because of the KAC’s golf simulator known as “the lab”.
“It gives us a leg up on our competition,” Wallace said. “We can practice our short game, chipping, putting, things that will put us in a position to compete for the conference championship.”
The Lords stepped up their game this season, and have placed second in their past three tournaments. Now, as they prepare for offseason training, they have their eyes on the elusive prize of capturing first in a major tournament when they return in the spring.