Golf teams make history in meet

Spencer Chase

The SDSU golf teams made state history by hosting the first ever Division I golf meet in the state of South Dakota Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 at the Jackrabbit Fall Invitational at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls.

“We brought home hardware, but not as much of it as we wanted,” head golf coach Jared Baszler said.

The men took second place and the women finished in fifth behind individual runner-up performances in both divisions from Hudson Carpenter and Morgan Fitts.

Carpenter rebounded from a rough second round to claim the runner-up spot with only one stroke separating him from the lead. Baszler said Carpenter was locked in a match play type of battle all the way to the end. Carpenter and Nathan Anderson were tied with two holes left, but Anderson eventually took the lead and never let go.

“At the end of the day, (Carpenter) had a big smile on his face and said, ‘Man, that was fun,’” Baszler said.

SDSU also saw a top-10 finish from freshman Miles Knutsen, who finished in eighth. Baszler said it was a very strong showing for such a young player.

“That was (Knutsen’s) first time in the top-five lineup, so to see him finish that high up on the leader board was just tremendous,” Baszler said.

The rest of the team was rounded out by Greg Fehrman in a tie for 14th, Brian Wynia in a tie for 18th and David Smith in a tie for 33rd.

The women struggled with inexperience and inconsistency on their way to a fifth-place finish. Fitts claimed runner-up and the team finished with the highest third-round score to add some bright spots to an otherwise rough outing. Baszler said Monday’s performance was a good indication of the team’s ability.

“We showed a lot of ability today hitting the second-best round score of the day in some really rough weather conditions,” Baszler said. “As a coach, that’s the type of things I look at and emphasize so we can try to get better. We just weren’t mentally ready to play golf on Sunday.”

Amber Houser finished in 14th for the Jacks, followed by Michaela Kouri in a tie for 29th and Sydney MacDonald and Alli Plath, who both tied for 34th.

The meet was the first ever Division I golf meet held in South Dakota, and Baszler said that reality wasn’t lost on SDSU’s golfers and supporters.

“This is something we’ve been wanting to do for quite a few years, and I think we gave people a chance to see some really high quality golf in the state of South Dakota, which will be a good thing for our university and our golf program,” Baszler said.

Baszler said he saw the most fans he’s ever seen at a collegiate golf meet and was very impressed by the amount of support shown for SDSU’s golf team by parents, former players and even students.

The men and women will be split in their next competitions as the women will head to the LPGA Invitational in Daytona Beach, Fla. and the Fall Courtyard Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. Oct. 12-Oct. 16. The men head to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the Querencia Cabo Collegiate Oct. 14-16.