The thing that sets golf apart from other sports is the amount of focus it takes to execute each shot consistently. Without proper execution, players find themselves hunting for sliced balls, breaking golf clubs over their knees, on trees, or sometimes even collapsing to sudden heat attacks. Without patience and a drive to compete, golf can be very challenging.
The Wittenberg Tigers men and women golf teams have shown great patience in their play, and have not resorted to breaking their clubs. Instead, they have been waiting on other teams to find their balls, while they are on the green, ready to putt out. The men and women’s teams have been hard to beat as of late. Both have placed in the top five in all of their rounds except one. For the women, it was round one of the Illinois Wesleyan Fall Classic, and the girls finished sixth of 21. However, on day two of the classic, the women finished fourth of 21. For the men it was on day one of the NCAA Championship Preview Invitational and they finished eight of 18. On day two, they roared back to finish second of 18. Both teams’ places were still respectable in their showing.
In the women’s last outing, they finished their first round third of 10, and finished the second round second of 10. In that game, sophomore Maggie Smith received first team all tournament honors by shooting 77 in both rounds of the DePauw Small College Classic, in Clayton Indiana. Her play helped the Tigers place second in the two-day tournament. Fellow sophomore Alli Lawwill, also impacted the tournament by shooting a 75 on the second day of the tournament, after shooting a 93 on the first day. Additionally, juniors Nicole Waers, and Carolyn Wong were consistent in the win shooting 82 and 81. Their success is no accident. The women’s golf team is ready to make noise come conference tournament time.
“I know the women’s golf team will be working hard in the off season with workouts and reps in the golf room,” said senior Deanna Mychalishyn. “We are going to be heavily preparing to be very successful in the NCAC championship. This is the first year the women have an automatic qualifier to go to nationals if we are to win the NCAC championship,” said Mychalishyn. “I know with the amount of skill and talent the women have that we will be working extremely hard to achieve that goal.”
The men have seen the ladies and have raised them a first place finish rather than second. Like the women’s golf team, the men have been gaining momentum as the fall season rolls along. In their last showing, the Tigers were on top of their game all three days of the Gordin Classic, in Columbus Ohio. As a team, the Tigers positioned themselves for a first place finish by decreasing their combined score each day of the tournament. Day one they shot 295 and 287. Day two the Tigers set a record by shooting 281 as a team. Junior John Casey, led the way on the final day by shooting a 68. His teammates upheld their end of the bargain by shooting close to or under par as well. Junior Alex Andrews shot a 70, junior Jared Wissinger shot a 73, senior Ben Hogenkamp shot a 71, and senior David Wetterich shot a 72 on the final round.
“Our expectations for the team are very simple, to win a national championship,” said senior John Uecker. “I feel like we are at a selfless state as a team right now, we have kids win individual titles but we are more excited about a huge team victory, which is how it should be.”