The No. 7-ranked Eagles began their fall campaign this weekend, finishing 14th at the Tournament Town Championship Preview at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.
The 36-hole tournament was played this past Sunday and Monday on the 7,125-yard par-72 East Course.
Eighteen teams competed at the course that will host the 2014 NCAA Division III Championships next May. Head Coach John Sjoberg noted that the championship-level course proved to be a challenge for the team, and the difficult course rewarded only solid play. As a team, they shot a 311 on Sunday and 308 on Monday to finish with a score of 619.
Roth led the Eagle’s performance with a two-day score of 7-over par of 151 (79-72), tying for 20th in a 90-player field. After his impressive Monday performance, his score shot him from 60th place to 20th.
“Will played very well on Monday, shooting an even-par 72 on a very difficult course. After not striking the ball well as a team in a difficult first round, we are happy with a few performances this weekend,” Sjoberg said.
Senior Alec Berens said, “We did not play nearly as well as we are capable of playing, which was disappointing not just for me but for the team. I think this tournament was a good wake up call to all of us, and with some fine-tuning this week, we should be able to bounce back this weekend at the Gordin.”
This marks the first of four consecutive weeks of on-the-road tournament play for the Eagles.
Senior Will Roth said, “We had a tough first outing but we are not far from playing good golf. It seemed like we were just unable to put together 18 good holes.”
Junior Alex Wunderlich followed Roth with a score of 154 (75-79), good for 44th place. Seniors Alec Berens and Johnathan Chen both shot 157, carding 77-80 and 80-77, respectively.
Though disappointed with his performance, Chen noted, “golf really keeps you humble; just when your game is where it needs to be, one poor showing and you’re back to the drawing board. It’s a continuous cycle, and I am really working on finding consistency.”
Rounding out the Eagles’ scores, freshman Colby Hipp made his collegiate debut with a score of 82-86 over the two-round tournament.
Despite a sub-par debut to the season, the Eagles remain optimistic about their fall campaign.
“We had high expectations going into the tournament, and while we didn’t perform the way we wanted to, there were definitely some positives. Will had a great comeback shooting 72. We have a lot to work on for next week, but we’re not far off from playing well. There is talent on the team to post some good finishes and even win in Columbus next week,” said Wunderlich.
The Eagles will play this weekend at the Gordin Intercollegiate in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
– By Seanette Ting