Men’s golf begins spring season at Florida meet

Reporter and Reporter

The BG men’s golf team opens up its 2012 portion of the season in Dade City, Fla. this weekend at Lake Jovita South Course to face the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday.

Charlie Olson led the way for the Falcons in scoring average for the fall of 2011 with a scoring average of 74.57, including two top 10 finishes. Just behind him are seniors and four-year starters Parker Hewit and Drew Preston. Wes Gates, along with those three golfers, are the four that participated in each tournament in the fall season.

Coach Garry Winger and the Falcons are coming off a fall season that included a first place finish at the John Piper Intercollegiate, a tournament the Bobcats competed in. Gates was the front runner for BG, carding a 220 (75-73-72).

The Bobcats are led by Paul Grauer, who finished the 2010-2011 season with a 76.67 scoring average. Grauer fired a third round 66 in the John Piper Intercollegiate last September.

BG will then have a quick turnaround as the Falcons remain at Lake Jovita for the Mid-American Conference Match Play event Feb. 13 and 14. The match play features eight MAC teams in a double-elimination tournament with a shotgun start beginning at 8 a.m. both days. BG begins tournament play against the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Monday.

Along with the Falcons, Bobcats and Eagles, other opponents in the field include host school Ball State, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Akron and Miami. Pending a win or loss against Eastern Michigan, BG will face either Akron or Miami in the second round. All schools will play three 18-hole matches with two rounds on Monday and one on Tuesday.

The South Course at Lake Jovita, located just north of Tampa, was designed by famous golf icons Tom Lehman and Kurt Sandness. Lake Jovita maxes out at 7,153 yards in length with a course rating of 74.2. Hole No. 11 is a par 5 that includes a 94-foot drop from tee to green, which is the largest elevation change of any course in the state of Florida.

Dade City, Fla. is the first of seven sites where the Falcons will compete in the spring season before postseason play.