Second golf meet shows improvements
Michael Bauer | sports editor
The second competition for the Pittsburg State men’s golf team revealed that a foundation for a promising season is within reach.
The team competed at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Fall Invitational on Monday, Sept. 9, and Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Awarii Dunes Golf Course in Kearney, Neb.
As a unit the Gorillas shot a combined score of 933, finishing 11th out of 13 teams.
Sophomore Zachary Fate achieved the top individual score for the team, shooting 229 and tying for 38th place.
Todd Loveland, head coach, says going from a ninth-place team finish at the Missouri Invitational to an 11th-place finish in Kearney is misleading.
“Comparing the two tourneys, though the final standings do not show it, we actually played better in Kearney,” he said. “The problem lies in the fact that we just got steamrolled by some unbelievable scores.”
The remaining individual scores for the Gorillas behind Zachary Fate were: junior Brandon Winfrey and junior Justice Valdivia, who both shot a 232 and tied for 45th. Junior Gable LaForge shot a 247 and tied for 68th, followed by junior Jordan Dunham, who finished with a 253 earning 71st place.
“I think the top six schools averaged below a 300 for all three rounds, which is incredible,” Fate said. “I think as a team that is the kind of numbers we should be firing weekly with the talent and chemistry we have built on this team. Those numbers are very reachable.”
Hopes and expectations are high for the Gorillas for the remaining meets. Talent is the last thing in question, the missing piece is believed to be the ability to put all the multiple talents together consistently.
“Our squad practices very well,” Fate said. “We get a ton of things accomplished every day on the range and putting green. Honestly, we are doing everything right at this time. We just need to start putting together some solid team scores and believing in one another.”
The 11th-place team finish resulted from a first-round score of 315, second-round 313, and concluded with a 305 for the final round.
The first-place spot was grabbed by the University of Nebraska-Kearney with a score of 855, followed by Lindenwood University in second who shot 869, and Fort Hays State University came in third with an 885 score.
The Gorillas are preparing for their next competition, the NSU Men’s Classic, which will be held at Emerald Falls Golf Course in Broken Arrow, Okla. The match will be held from Sunday Sept. 22, through Monday, Sept. 23.