Jenkins leads Jacks at Cleveland State

Justin Wulf

Justin Wulf

The Jackrabbits’ second-round struggles continued as the men’s golf team fell from fourth to finish in 10th place at the rain-shortened Cleveland State Invitational.

SDSU squandered a solid first round to shoot a 637, 39 strokes back of tournament winner and NAIA powerhouse Malone College.

Justin Lower finished in first with a two-day total of 148 for Malone College – who notched their first team title at a Division I event.

As for the Jacks, it was a tale of two rounds.

After shooting a first-round 308 – good enough for fourth – Baszler’s squad carded a 329 in the second, before the tournament was called due to rain.

“We were pretty happy with our first-round score, considering we were in fourth place and not too far from second,” Baszler said. “The second round was a really long and windy day. Our inexperience really showed once again.”

Baszler said he’s disappointed with his team’s finish, but hopefully the team can build on the promise they showed in the opening round.

One of the few bright spots for the Jacks was senior Justin Jenkins, who tied for 17th with a two-day total of 155 (79-76).

“Seeing Justin finish in the top-20 is always good,” Baszler said “He played really well the second round, whereas everybody else just fell apart.”

The head coach attributed his team’s poor second-round scores to “big numbers” and inexperience.

“We had a couple guys in the top-15 in birdies made for the two rounds, which should correlate into a good team score,” Baszler said. “But when you make double and triple bogies outside of those birdie holes, it’s going to severely affect it.

“I’ve learned in my seven years of coaching that those big numbers come from inexperience.”

Sophomore Nolan Meyer finished just two strokes behind Jenkins and tied for 26th with 157 total.

Sophomore Brian Wynia tallied a 162 to finish tied for 44th, while freshman Parker Edens shot a 163 to tie for 49th.

Baszler said that his players need to start making his decision easier by showing up on the course and being more mentally prepared.

“We’ve got 10 guys on our roster and right now it’s hard to pick five,” Baszler said. “I told the seniors I’m not going to keep taking them just because they’re seniors. They’re going to have to go out and qualify just like the rest of them.”

Of the seniors routinely taken for trips, Kyle Vandevoort continued to struggle, finishing 66th with a 172 total over two rounds.

“Being a senior, he needs to show better leadership,” Baszler said. “On tough, windy days like the one we had, he starts worrying about the weather conditions more than his golf game.”

The SDSU men will have next week off before traveling to Normal, Ill. on Oct. 11 for the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate, hosted by Illinois State University.