This past weekend the Lords golf team took second place in the consolation bracket at the 46th Annual Marine Federal Credit Union Intercollegiate Golf Championship. After finishing the first two rounds in 17th place — one spot shy of making the final round — the Lords finished the final round with a +16, making them +51 for the three-day tournament.
The Marine Federal Credit Union Intercollegiate Golf Championship has taken place every year since 1972, with the purpose of fostering a relationship between collegiate golfers and active and retired Marines. Held every year at Paradise Point Golf Course on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., the event consists of 31 teams, one of which includes former and active Marines. Designed by former Marine and Golf course architect George Cobb, the base actually has two 18 hole courses, the Scarlet Course (Par 70) that the Lords played Friday and Sunday, and the Gold Course they played on Saturday (Par 72). This was Kenyon’s first time in the tournament, which included schools like Duke University and North Coast Athletic Conference division rival DePauw University.
Ryan Muthiora ’18 led the way for the Lords, tying for third among the 63 golfers in the consolation bracket and shooting +5 for the tournament. He completed the more challenging Gold course on Saturday with the lowest score, shooting a 73 on a par 72 course. Other Lords also had good weekends. Mason McCool ’17, shot +11 and finished tied for 12th, Robert Williams ’19 finished with +12 and tied for 15th and Chase Frederick ’20 (+24) and Pat Kawakami ’20 (+26) rounded out the Lords’ individual performances.
After coming up short of qualifying for the Championship Bracket in the first two days, Muthiora regrets the mindset his team had going into the match. “We knew that the Scarlet Course was going to yield some low numbers, but we didn’t do a good enough job of approaching it like any other tournament,” Muthiora said. “That put us in a position where we were on the Gold Course trying to make up ground.”
The weather also impacted the team’s Friday score. “We were stuck in a powerful rainstorm for 25 minutes on the first day,” Kawakami said. “The Marines made it clear that ‘if it ain’t rainin,’ we ain’t trainin.””
One of the reasons this tournament is so prestigious is that the student athletes get to fraternize with the Marines they are competing against. Kawakami looks back fondly on the two dinners the teams were able to have with the Marines. “We were able to pick their brains about their experiences in serving our country,” Kawakami said.
While reflecting on his “great experience” of playing 36 holes with the Marines, Muthiora came to some meaningful conclusions. “It’s easy, and unfair, to associate the men and women who serve in our armed forces with the sometimes unpopular political figures who seem to disingenuously promote the military in a propaganda-ish way,” Muthiora said on Wednesday. “[But when playing golf with them] you realize that they are normal people who just want a break from their responsibilities to relax and play some golf.”