Walker shoots historic round in losing effort

While many students were relaxing at home or on campus for fall break, the golf team took a trip to Indiana to compete in Ball State’s Earl Yestingmeier Invitational. The trip wasn’t as successful as the team would have liked though, as they finished 13th in a field of 17 and shot 884 in 54 holes.

Coach Garry Winger refuses to allow the lack of experience or unfamiliarity of the particular course to be an excuse for the team’s poor performance. Three of the five golfers had never seen the course before the invitational, which may have contributed to the high scores. Two of the golfers have not had much playing experience this year prior to this invitational.

Scott Blackburn and Russell Goodwin got some valuable experience they hope will help the team later, but they were unfamiliar with the course and didn’t perform as well as they expected. Winger still expected the team to perform well regardless of the adversity they may have faced.

“You can’t use that as an excuse,” Winger said. “We’re going to have to go away to new courses and the new guys are going to have to learn.”

Trevor Spathelf and the rest of the team are taking full responsibility for the poor performance – no excuses. Spathelf knew he would be expected to lead this group of young guys in this tournament and was disappointed that he didn’t do as well as he had planned.

Spathelf had the most experience of the Falcon golfers that day and was one of the two that had seen the course before.

“It wasn’t the weather, the weather was perfect,” Spathelf said. “We just didn’t play well, simple as that.”

BG was fresh off a strong performance at Xavier, finishing under par for the first time this year, but was unable to carry that into this tournament.

“It’s a little bit of a wake up call, we finally had some decent scores in Xavier and we thought it would carry over,” Spathelf said. “But now we know we need to continue to work hard – I think we’ll respond well.”

There was a bright spot for the team as freshman, Jace Walker, showed a glimpse of what the future of this program could be.

Walker shot a 209 to tie for third place in individual scoring, and shot the school’s third lowest round ever with a 66. Demonstrating the attitude this team has, Walker was more interested in how well the team performed.

“At the end of the day it’s all a team thing and it was pretty disappointing,” Walker said.

BG still expects to show resilience and improve the rest of the year. The team was disappointed they were unable to carry the momentum from the Xavier Invitational into Ball State, but they’re working toward playing better in the upcoming tournaments and putting together a performance in which everyone does well.

“It was pretty embarrassing but we need to learn from it,” Walker said. “If you learn from your mistakes, you’re going to get better.”