Men’s golf has decent outing in Marshall; take 10th

Bill Bordewick and Bill Bordewick

Following the postponement of a tournament in Wichita, Kan., the Falcon men’s golf got back on the links and headed to West Virginia for the Marshall Invitational. The team dealt with some struggles and wound up finishing in 10th place out of 16 teams. That might seem somewhat of a disappointment, but the Falcons only finished 10 strokes from a top five performance. BG was hampered by the same problem that affected the team down in Puerto Rico, and that was its inability to get off to a good start in the first round. ‘We put ourselves so far behind, there’s nowhere to go. I don’t understand it to be honest,’ said BG coach Garry Winger. ‘You can’t get back into the tournament starting out like that.’ The Falcons tallied a 307 in round one but rallied to finish 16 and 13 strokes better in rounds two and three, respectively. ‘We’re going to change the way we play the practice round before the tournament,’ Winger said. ‘We’re going to have to play the practice round more like it’s the first round of the tournament.’ While the Falcons were struggling to find themselves in the first round, the University of Illinois was not. The Fighting Illini ran away fromthe field and posted a score of 855, which was good for three over par for the tournament. The next closest team was Xavier who collectively posted a score of 869. To put in perspective how dominant the Illini were, all five players for the team finished in a tie for or better than ninth place with Zack Barlow winning the individual tournament with a score of two under par, 211. ‘Illinois under head coach Mike Small has become a great program-number 12 in the nation,’ Winger said. ‘It was great for our guys as a young team with everyone coming back next season to see that type of performance. That’s the level that we want to be at.’ The Falcons finished with a score of 892-37 strokes behind the Illini. Junior John Powers led the way for BG by tallying a top 20 finish with a score of 220 for the three round tournament. Powers posted rounds of 75, 71 and 74. The other junior captain on the team, Matt Schneider, struggled in the first round logging an eight over par 79 but rebounded to finish the final two rounds at a combined six over. Schneider’s three round score of 227 put him in tie for 48th place. Freshmen Drew Preston and Parker Hewit finished in ties for 28th and 34th respectively with scores of 222 and 223. Bryan Mitchell rounded out the scoring for the Falcons with a score of 240. Winger mentioned that it is very important to have all five players competing at the highest level. ‘We didn’t have any contribution from our fifth player,’ he said. ‘When you don’t have that, it’s going to be very tough to win.’ The Falcons will hope to rectify all that ails them as they will next be in action this weekend when they travel to Lexington for the UK Bluegrass Invitational.