The men and women’s golf teams are on a quest for a conference title.
The Olivet men’s golf team started their season with a dual match again conference competitor Purdue University- Calumet. This was the first match of the season, with four remaining tournaments this spring. In the off-season, the Tigers focused on improving their game.
“As a team, our focus for this spring season is to remain positive,” freshman Jacob Tuttle said. “In golf, it is very easy to become negative and get down on yourself. So, we have been trying to be more positive by closing every practice with prayer and simply enjoying ourselves on the course.”
In the men’s golf teams first multiple-team tournament, ONU hosted 12 other teams for the ONU Spring Invite Wed., April 6. The Tigers played well placing four of 10 players in the top third. There were a total of 61 golfers at this one-day event. ONU finished second with a team score of 328 behind the University of St. Francis (Ill).
Ten golfers from Olivet played the course the following day. The Tigers first five were freshman Matt Winklemann, who led the tigers with a 79, placing fourth overall; junior Cole Evenson, who was three strokes behind Winklemann with a 82; sophomore Kyle Dwyer, shot a score of 84; junior Luke Lambert, shot an 83; and senior Ryan Muzljakovich, with a score of 89, finishing team one.
The second team for the Tigers was lead by freshman Jake Tuttle, who shot an 85; junior Jordan Spay, shot an 86 who tied with teammate sophomore Zack Thorson; senior Robert Wagner shot an 86; and ophomore Stephen Lowe finished with a 92. The Tigers will be back on the course on Tuesday, April 12 for the University of St. Francis (Ill.) Spring invite.
“I feel like this season has had a lot of positives,” Tuttle said. “We have a lot of guys who can contribute and who will be returning next year. There is still room for improvement, and I feel we are making strides to perform at an even higher level.”
The Olivet Nazarene University Lady Tigers opened their 2016 season with a two-day Spring invite at the University of St. Francis (Ind.). The Tigers fought through the pouring rain and came out on top the first day with all five players finishing in the top ten. Freshman, Mackenzie Mehaffey was a medalist, finishing in a three way tie for first place.
On day two, the Tigers faced high winds and snow, but finished ahead of the pack, holding a 14-stroke lead.
“Despite the less than ideal conditions, this is a great start for our quest to capture the conference title and advance to nationals,” Head Coach Bill Johnson said.
At the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) Spring invitational, Mehaffey gained a share in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week for her performance at the tournament.
“It’s an honor,” Mehaffey said. “I’m really happy to have played well and
helped the team with out first tournament of the year. We worked really hard during the winter, and I think that is going to pay off this spring.”
The Lady Tigers were back at it again, placing third out of ten teams at the Marian Spring Invitational. The weather, again, was anything but nice for these girls as they went through below average temperatures and strong winds, but that did not stop them.
Olivet was lead by senior Bridget Wolff, who shot an 82, finishing fifth out of 54 players at the tournament. Her finish earned her All-Tournament Team honors. Marian University, the host, won the overall tournament. Olivet finished with a score of 683. The Lady Tigers will be traveling to South Bend, Indiana, for the Pilot Invitational hosted by Bethel College.
—Sarah Ortman, staff writer