Golfers bring back entire team from ’06, face tough schedule

Contrary to popular belief, golf is a difficult sport.

The BGSU men’s golf team has been preparing for the upcoming fall season all summer.

“We play more in the summer than in the season in some cases,” returning sophomore John Powers said.

That’s good, because this year’s schedule is no easy task.

After finishing in sixth place in the Mid-American Conference tournament last year, the team’s improvements will have to come against tougher competition.

The first round of golf is Sept. 8 at the Purdue Midwest Shootout, where BG will face Big 10 opponents Purdue, Indiana and Penn State.

The good news is all five golfers from last year are returning, including senior and team captain Jace Walker.

“We’re looking for Jace [Walker] to continue his strong leadership, and he knows the responsibility that comes with being the team captain,” Coach Garry Winger said.

Other returning golfers include Trevor Spathelf, Michael Bibler and Scott Blackburn.

Powers came up big last season when he hit a hole-in-one on a par three in the MAC tournament. His confidence shows.

“We didn’t lose anyone from last year,” Powers said. “We definitely have more experience this year.”

Another goal the Falcons have is to defend their turf.

BG hosts the John Piper Intercollegiate Invitational on Sept. 10 and 11.

“We have our own invitational in September and we always look to win that,” Winger said.

Other big matches include the Xavier Invitational in Loveland, Ohio, on Oct. 10 and 11 and the MAC/Big East Challenge in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 27 and 28.

The work begins right away for the golfers.

Aug. 20 marks the first day of school for most of us, but it is also the first day of practice, and the team looks to be competitive in every match.

“Every year our goal is to be at the top half of the MAC,” Winger said. “I think we’re going to be very competitive this year.”

Like every season, there is a tough road ahead of the team. Even though they face stiff competition, loads of traveling during school and the added pressure that comes with a more experienced team, the men feel optimistic.

“We’re going to go out there and try to win every time,” Powers said. “We feel we can start to win.”