Men’s golf team takes 14th at Purdue

Bill Bordewick and Bill Bordewick

The BG men’s golf team got another taste of Big 10 level competition this past weekend in West Lafayette, Ind., for the Boilermaker Invitational-and it did not exactly go well for the team. The Falcons finished in 14th place out of 18 with an overall score of 901 in a tournament that was thoroughly dominated by the Big 10 teams in the field. Illinois won the tournament with a collective score of 855-which was good for nine under par. Big 10 teams Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana rounded out the top five in team scoring. ‘The Big 10 is very good this year,’ BG coach Garry Winger said. ‘An opportunity to compete against those schools is great.’ The Big 10 dominance should be expected from Illinois and Indiana-as both are ranked in the top 16 in the country-but the performance from the other schools in the conference just proves how deep the conference is when it comes to golf. Penn State, not ranked in the top 25 of the country, gave No. 16 Illinois everything they could handle in only losing to them by a single stroke and beating the sixth ranked team in the country, Indiana, by 12 strokes. ‘Penn State’s coach, Greg Nye, was my golf coach at BG,’ Winger said. ‘They have become a great program.’ The Big 10’s dominance was shown not only in the team competition but also in the individual portion of the tournament. The Big 10 saw golfers from its member schools finish in 11 out of the top 12 positions. Only Cleveland State golfer Jacob Scott’s one under par performance of 215, which was good for seventh place, was able to break up the Big 10’s dominance at the top-in which Dan Woltman of Wisconsin won with a nine under par 207. While the Big 10 was dominating, BG saw its golfers struggling. Freshmen Drew Preston was best Falcon finisher with an eight over par 224, which was good for a tie for 43rd place. ‘We didn’t have anyone play really well,’ Winger said. ‘Drew was our best finish at 43, and that’s not going to win any tournaments.’ Winger alluded to the final round saves that the Preston and Matt Schneider pulled off after each started poorly in the final round. Preston started out the tournament with an 80 but rebounded nicely over the next two rounds with 71 and 73. Junior captain John Powers chalked a pair of 76s to go along with an opening round 73 and that score of 225 was good for a tie for 48th place. Schneider opened with a 77 in the first round and finished the final two rounds with 75s good for a cumulative score of 227 and a tie for 59th place. Parker Hewit and Bryan Mitchell rounded out the Falcon scoring with a pair of 233s-good for a tie of 80th place. The Falcons will get a week off before competing in the Mid-American Conference Championships April 30th through May 2nd. ‘We’re looking forward to the MAC Tournament,’ Winger said. ‘There have been some teams that have played well, and there have been some teams that haven’t played well but none of that matters.’ ‘It’s imperative that we get off to a good start-you can’t win the tournament the first but you can certainly lose it. There’s 36 holes the first day and that’s half your tournament.’