Men’s golf team heats up in its final meet of season

The UW-Eau Claire men’s golf team took second place at the 13-team Gustie Invitational golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday in Jordan, Minn.

Head coach Todd Oehrlein said the Blugolds played their best round of golf all year on Tuesday. The team improved its score from Monday by 20 shots to shoot a 286, falling just short of almost breaking the single-day school record of 285 that the team set last year in Mankato, Minn.

The Blugolds ended up two strokes short of catching host Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.), which took a seven-stroke lead on Monday. Gustavus Adolphus finished at 590 and the Blugolds finished at 592.

St. John’s (Minn.) finished third with a 603, while Central College (Iowa) and St.ÿThomas (Minn.) tied for fourth with 604. Minnesota State-Mankato brought up the rear with a 616.

“I am really happy with the way we played,” Oehrlein said. “Gustavus Adolphus played awesome golf and we just couldn’t quite catch up.”

Junior Bill Conroy shot a 4-under par on Tuesday and tied for meet medallist honors.

Four of Conroy’s teammates also were within five strokes of par on Tuesday. Freshman Brian Giese shot a 72 (149), junior Mark Christensen a 73 (154), senior Andy Smith a 74 (153) and sophomore Andrew Dustan a 76 (151).

Oehrlein said this spring season is really good for the Blugolds and he feels confident about the NCAA Div. III championship selections, which will be announced later today.

“We have played really well this spring,” Oehrlein said. “We have played some great golf – including this past weekend in Rochester, New York and at the Gustie Invitational in Minnesota – and are definitely headed in the right direction. I feel very confident about this team right now.”

The Gustie Invitational is a pivotal meet when it comes to selections for the NCAA Division III championship, which will be held May 13-16 in Lincoln, Neb.