Men’s golf struggles in first competition

Justin Wulf

Justin Wulf

Freshman David Smith’s collegiate debut was one of few bright spots for the Jackrabbit men’s golf team that finished 11th with a two-day total of 908 at the Fairway Club Invitational.

The Minnesota native led the Jacks, playing as an individual, and finished tied for 14th with a three-round total of 218 (+2).

“David was definitely the biggest surprise of the weekend,” head coach Jared Baszler said.

The men’s team struggled, posting a two-day total of 908, 56 strokes back of Drake University who shot a third-round 290 to claim the Nebraska tournament victory. The Bulldogs’ Cody Schweinefus took first place with a score of 207 (-9).

“We had two days of absolutely perfect weather,” Baszler said. “We just didn’t take advantage of it, and everyone else did. That’s what it boils down to.”

Adding to the Jackrabbit woes was the loss of senior Kyle Vandevoort early in the tournament. Vandevoort had to withdraw in the first round after spraining his ankle walking off the tee box on the fifth hole.

“That really hurt us, obviously,” Baszler said. “We’re going to have the trainer look at it on Wednesday. I’d say he’s hopeful for next week, but it’s hard to say at this point.”

Baszler added that even though Smith was playing in the tournament, he was unable to be substituted for Vandevoort because the lineup could not be changed, regardless of the situation.

Sophomore Nolan Meyer and freshman Parker Edens cracked the top-25 for the Jackrabbits, both shooting a 221 (+5), but it was Eden’s opening and closing rounds that impressed Baszler.

“It was good to see Parker play well,” Baszler said. “He had a shaky second round, but his first and third rounds were great.”

Senior Justin Jenkins and Brian Wynia rounded out the Jacks’ team play with three-day totals of 226 (+10) and 240 (+24), respectively.

The men’s team will look to rebound, with or without Vandevoort, at the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate on September 21 to 22 in Manhattan, Kan. The event will be hosted by Kansas State.