Over Fall Break, the Wittenberg Men’s Golf Team went two for two in tournament play, the NCAC Fall Preview and Cedarville Invitational. These two wins also happened to be the first time that the team successfully won two tournaments after splitting to form two separate teams.
At Cedarville, Chris Eigner, ’19, won first place with a score of 72-77, while Wittenberg cruised to first with an overall score of 616, 10 strokes ahead of second-place finisher, Ohio Dominican.
“It felt amazing to finally score first, as it was my first collegiate win,” Eigner said. “Going into the final round, I had the lead, but only by a shot, so I knew I would have to fight hard for the title.”
At the NCAC Fall Preview, Isaac Hartley, ’19, took second place, following an Ohio Wesleyan student, ending only three strokes behind. Wittenberg, however, claimed first with a score of 596.
“We knew the historical significance going into the weekend and we came up with a saying #2wins1weekend, and this was our driving motivator for both teams,” Maxim Boone, ’18, said. “We realized that we weren’t just playing for ourselves, but both teams. When we found out that both teams won, we could not have been any happier.”
Both invitationals consisted of 36 holes, with 18 holes played a day for the two-day competition. Although each player competes for individual scores, a group of five play for the team, with the best four scores counting toward the grand total.
“I honestly did not feel as nervous as normal because I knew it was the last tournament of the year, and I felt as though I had nothing to lose,” Eigner said. “But, it did become nerve wracking down to the finish because I had an idea of where I stood.”
Although the team was separated both in distance and in competition, the groups of players were constantly following the scoring of the other team, and were actively cheering for one another.
“It felt great for both of our teams to end the season with two wins,” Eigner said. “It gives us a lot of confidence going into the spring season. Before we started the weekend, we talked about two wins in one weekend and we supported each other to get the job done.”
At Cedarville, Brennan Whitis, ’18, followed Eigner in the standings with a strong second-place finish of 73-79. Other Wittenberg golfers boasted scores of 77-78 (Daniel Castleberry, ‘21), 79-81 (Raul Carobnell, 21), 79-81 (Boone) and 91-79 (Curtis Salmans, ‘20).
“Going into every tournament that I play in, I am looking to win as a team and I am looking to win individually,” Whitis said. “It was great for us to come together and get a win to finish the fall season. I was proud of how we did as a collective group and how I did individually.”
These wins, however, were not as easy as the team had hoped due to the weather conditions out on the course both days.
“We had very tough conditions the second day because of winds up to 45 m.p.h. and some rain on and off,” Eigner said. “So, these scores are a little higher than normal, but based on the conditions, they were good.”
At the NCAC Preview, Cooper Taylor, ’19, followed Hartley in the standings with a score of 74-73. Fellow Wittenberg golfers followed closely behind in the standings with scores of 75-74 (Cameron Willis, ‘20), 76-75 (Colin Laszlo, ‘19), 76-76 (Ryan Mallette, ‘20) and 74-79 (Christopher Dunne, ‘21).
“I think [these wins are] going to be a great stepping-stone as we move towards the offseason and into the spring season,” Whitis said.
Echoing Whitis, Eigner shared high hopes as the team transitions into preparing for their spring season.
“In the spring, I am most looking forward to competing as a team and to hopefully compete for another national championship,” Eigner said. “Our team has very high expectations, and hopefully, we will come out on top.”