Men’s golf concludes season


Drew Preston, BG golfer, watches as a competitor attempts his putt on the seventh green of Stone Ridge Golf Club in the city.

Reporter and Reporter

The BG men’s golf team wrapped up regular season play with a ninth place finish at the highly competitive Boilermaker Invitational this past Saturday and Sunday.

BG fired a 909 (298-299-312) to earn the ninth place finish in the 54-hole event. The tournament took place on the Kampen course of the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. The field consisted of 18 teams overall, with seven of the 18 ranked in the top 50, according to Golfweek’s ratings.

“We played fairly well, particularly on Saturday, where we were only one of four teams to break 300 on the first two rounds,” said coach Garry Winger. “We had ourselves in a great position but obviously didn’t play our best in the final round.”

BG defeated four Mid-American Conference teams: Akron, Eastern Michigan, Toledo and Miami. The Falcons also defeated TCU by 15 shots, which was ranked 36th coming into the tournament.

Wes Gates led the way for the Falcons in the invitational individually by tying for 15th place with a 222 (69-77-76). This is the second tournament in a row where Gates has led Falcon golfers and finished in the top 20. He was also one of only four golfers in the entire 88-person field to have a round in the 60s.

“That first round [Gates] played was great and probably the best round of his career,” Winger said. “He was quite impressive in that strength of a field and Wes is certainly coming into his own and playing with poise and confidence.”

Finishing right behind Gates was Charlie Olson, who shot a 225 (76-72-77) that earned him a tie for 23rd. Drew Preston fired a 232 (79-75-78) to finish tied for 45th. Next in line for BG was Parker Hewit, who tied for 55th by carding a 235 (79-75-81). Rounding out the BG score was Chris Melvin, who shot a 241 (74-83-84) that tied him for 74th place.

Indiana won the tournament by scoring an 877 that included a last round 282 (-6), which was the lowest 18-hole round of the invitational. The 877 clipped the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Kent State Golden Flashes by two and three shots, respectively. Luke Gutherie of Illinois won the event individually by shooting a 213 that included a final round 67 to defeat Barrett Kelpin of Iowa by a single stroke.

The Falcons will now enter the month of May to get ready for the MAC Championships. The event will be held in Sugar Grove, Ill., at Rich Harvest Farms where the Falcons already played in the Northern Intercollegiate this past September.

“We have definitely played some difficult golf courses and this will be the most difficult of the ones we have played,” Winger said. “I think we have passed some great tests the last three weeks so the confidence should be high.”