Men’s Golf Puts Together Impressive Home Performance

Langston Hood

Staff Writer

 

 

 

The College of Wooster men’s golf team hosted the Nye Intercollegiate Tournament last weekend, on Saturday, April 9, which was originally supposed to be a two day tournament; however, inclement weather rendered the Wooster Country Club course unplayable. Nine teams took part in the tournament as Wooster registered a third place finish, thanks to exemplary finishes from the young bloods of the Wooster golf team. The final team results of the tournament are as follows: Otterbein University, Muskingum University, COW, DePauw University, Earlham College, Baldwin Wallace University, Bluffton University, University of Mount Union and Hiram College. 

Wooster’s top finishers were Noah Jackman ’25 and Krishang Nayak ’25, who both shot 80 at eight over par to tie for sixth place with three other competitors. The Country Club course played particularly difficult on Sunday, as the best golfer on the day only managed to finish one over par. Team Captain Ben Foltz ’22 was the next highest finisher and he spoke to the difficulty of the course saying, “I said this following the round and I still believe it. Since WCC was in its prime the greens were rolling quite fast, in addition to this the pins were in some very difficult places. There was a lot of risk when attacking the pin since any downhill putt would likely roll out an extra five to 10 feet unexpectedly.”

Jackman played a particularly electric front-nine as he started his Sunday with a birdie on hole one and sat at one-under-par heading into the fourth hole; additionally he shot par on holes six, seven, eight and nine. Nayak benefitted from some birthday luck as he birdied hole one and parred holes 12, 13 and 14, before birdying 15 and shooting a par on the following two holes. 

The next highest finisher who played himself into a tie with Foltz was David Dennis ’24 as both golfers found themselves tied for 16th in a crowded finish at the end of the Sunday’s proceedings. Foltz and Dennis finished just two strokes behind Jackman and Nayak, as only five strokes separated third place from 16th. A difficult day didn’t discourage Dennis as he highlighted some of his favorite parts about the weekend. “My favorite part about the tournament was getting to play our home course in Wooster. It is always fun to play the course you practice on week in and week out. I also really enjoyed having the people I care about most there to watch me play.” Dennis also registered 10 pars on the day, a positive sign for the sophomore heading into the last month of the season. 

Tyler Hilbert ’24 posted the final counting score at an 84, 12 over par on the day, Hilbert’s score does not do his performance justice as he finished second in the field with 10 pars. Hilbert focused on the difficulty in beating out his teammates and the depth of the team this year saying, “The team is very strong top to bottom and that in-roster competition helps to bring out the best in all of us.” The scoring format of collegiate golf is slightly complicated, so Hilbert himself has been kind enough to offer a definition in layman’s terms: “it’s just the top four out of five for the A team. In reality the B and C teams are just individuals pretty much, very few tournaments will count a college’s B and C team as an official ‘team’. But just four out of five for a single team. So this weekend our A team’s scores were 80, 80, 82, 84, 85. The top four of those count so our final team score was 326.”

Within one stroke of Hilbert was his fellow sophomore Jacob Ullom ’24 who shot an 85 on the day and finished tied for 28th place. Ullom also harped on the difficulties that the pin positions presented on Sunday, “The slope of the greens and some of the pin placements made it difficult.”

Dennis has high hopes for the remainder of the season and rightfully so, “I am looking forward to seeing how many more tournaments we can win and how our scores can progress as a team.” Last weekend was Wooster’s sixth top-three finish of the season, so the Scots are familiar with success, which should serve them well heading into this year’s most important tournaments. 

Foltz shared in Dennis’ optimism making note of the work that the team put in over spring break. “Our team got some much-needed preparation on our spring trip, so we’re hoping to continue playing well. Especially coming off an initial win, we are looking to have a very competitive season.” 

Despite the tough break, the morale of the Wooster squad is high as they head into the Mercyhurst University Invitational this weekend and look to sharpen up their game before the NCAC/OAC Challenge and the NCAC Championships, which start on April 29 and continue through May 1.