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Scots earn runner-up finish in windy Florida

March 22, 2013

Joe Florio / The Courier - Monmouth men's golf gets quality short game practice in the Huff Center.

Monmouth men’s golf traditionally escapes the Midwest each spring break to prepare for the upcoming Midwest Conference season.

This year, the team traveled to Lakeland, Fla. enjoying five days of perfect golf weather in the Tampa Bay community.

This season the Scots took part in the Warner Triangular event, hosted by Warner University, an NAIA school located in Sebring, Fla. Monmouth took two teams to compete against both Warner University and Messiah College in the Wednesday event at Sebring’s Deer Run course at Sun n’ Lake Golf Club.

The lengthy 7,027-yard course played into Warner University’s favor as they fired a 311 at their home event, capturing first place. Monmouth’s A team placed second with a 328, finishing ahead of Messiah College with a 333.

MC was led by junior Mike Olszewski, who tied for sixth with an 80. Junior Ryan Suttles and senior Britt Bothast tied for ninth place with a pair of 82s. Rounding out the scoring for Brandon Kemerling rounded out the scoring for the Scots; the senior’s 84 placed him 13th. The team felt a lack of practice and heavy wind were reasons behind such high scores.

“The host school Warner had the advantage of playing year-round and beat us. Obviously we have lots of room to improve considering our tournament scores, but we understand that it is early and it was only our third round of the year outside,” said Kemerling. “I think everyone was mentally ready to play, it’s simply a matter of staying patient at this point until we can get outside and consistently practice.”

Olszewski attributed his short game to posting a top ten finish.

“I was conservative off the tee and kept the ball in play,” said Olszewski. “I got up and down a lot and made my par putts which helped in the windy conditions.”

Coach Dave Ragone, who begins his 12th season at the helm of the men’s golf program had an optimistic view about his squad’s first tournament and upcoming season.

“We played OK for not being outside prior to our trip. I was overall pleased with the tournament; we played a windy and tough course and still managed to hit the ball well,” said Ragone. “We need to work on scoring, we just have to keep improving over the next few weeks. It’s all practice until the Conference Championship.”

As the Scots prepare for their spring campaign, they believe the experience allowed them to grow and bond as a team. While the future looks bright, the team feels they have much more to work on heading into the season.

The Monmouth men’s golf team heads to Springfield, Ill. this Monday and Tuesday to compete in the Bulldog Spring Opener, hosted by Benedictine University at The Rail Golf Club. This year the Scots look for their 13th Midwest Conference title.

Mike Olszewski
Contributing Writers

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