Gorilla golfers finding their stroke
Tyler Smith | Collegio Reporter
The Pittsburg State University golf team was quite busy this past week as it posted a 14th place at the Missouri Intercollegiate Invitational while also placing third and fifth respectively at the Pitt State Invitational. It was a marked improvement after finishing last in the MIAA standings in 2010-2011.
“We played solid but could have been better,” said senior Garret Fowler. “We have a better team than last year so I have high hopes for our season.”
First up, the Gorillas competed Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Club at Porto Cima and saw freshman Justice Valdivia start his first year off strong. Valdivia led PSU with a score of 238 while shooting rounds of 82, 77 and 79.
“Justice played well for only his second college tournament,” said Fowler on Valdivia’s overall performance. “He will do great here at PSU.”
William Woods won the meet with a 908 score while the Gorillas finished the 54-hole competition with a team score of 996. PSU had rounds of 340, 322 and 334 to finish the night out.
Sophomore J.D. Heatherly also chipped in with a score of 251 (89-81-81) to finish in a tie for 57th place.
On Sept. 12, Pitt State followed up with a much better third-place effort during round one of the Pitt State Invitational. The Gorillas earned a team score of 295 after 18 holes.
Valdivia once again came in big f
or PSU with a tie for second place alongside Washburn’s Nate Hoeflin for the first round action among individuals.
Fowler scored as well, earning a round of 73 while finishing in a tie for seventh place. Sophomores Brett Dowell and Cole Murrin finished with round one scores of 76 and 77 respectively.
“We started out a little rough at Port Cima,” said Murrin. “After a good week of practice, we came out and played much better.”
PSU was only two strokes ahead of fourth-place Lindenwood, who earned a team score of 297, while Arkansas Tech finished the round fifth with a total score of 304.
Last but not least, the Gorillas finished fifth overall for the tournament and third among the MIAA competitors. Although they fell two places in the team standings, Pitt State was able to best five other MIAA competitors.
Pitt State earned rounds of 295 and 304 to come out with a total team score of 599. Central Missouri won the meet with a score of 581 points (290-291), just ahead of Washburn, which had a total score of 585 (288-297). Also, Lindenwood earned a score of 285 while Arkansas Tech came out with a score of 596 to finish out the top four teams in the 36-hole competition.
Murrin was at it once again leading the team with a score of 73 while finishing out with a total score of 150 for the two-day competition. Murrin placed in a tie for the 16th spot among individuals. Valdivia also came up big for a third time, earning a total of 145 points while placing sixth overall for the team-leading score.
Washburn’s Hoeflin led individuals with the low score of 140, shooting rounds of 69 and 71. Sophomore Brett Dowel and senior Garret Fowler also helped out with scores of 151 (76-75) and 153 (73-80) respectively.
After a rocky start and a solid showing at the second meet, the Pitt State golf team won’t be taking anything for granted.
“It was nice to see after the round at Pitt that even though we played better, no one was satisfied,” said Murrin. “So we still have more hard work ahead of us.”
Next up for the Gorillas is some action at the Southwest Baptist Invitational in Bolivar, Mo., on Oct. 3-4.