Men’s golf team scores first place at Onalaska tournament

The UW-Eau Claire men’s golf team finished first out of 14 teams on Monday at the Ronnie Eastman Invitational held in Onalaska, besting even the invitational’s host, Viterbo University.

“Going into every meet, (and) every tournament, the goal is to win,” Junior Ryan Grip said. “We played really well . so we felt pretty good about that.”

In Sunday’s first day of competition, the Blugolds finished in the lead with a total of 286 strokes, with St. Ambrose University coming second place with 304 strokes and Viterbo University placing third just one stroke behind them. The team had two players tied for second overall as sophomore Jimmy Hutchings and Grip scored 71. Freshman Tim McCormick and junior Loren Churness each scored 72 to tie for fourth place, giving the Blugolds four top-five individual golfers.

The weather improved on the second day, but the same could not be said for the scores of many of the Blugold golfers.

The team finished the second and final day of competition nine strokes better than the rest of the field with 591, while Viterbo took second with 600 strokes. The team wasn’t able to keep four individuals in the top five, but they did have four top-10 performances, led by Churness who took third place. He finished two over par with 146 strokes. McCormick completed the tournament with 147 strokes, tying for fourth place while Hutchings tied for sixth with 148 strokes. Tying for ninth place overall was Grip with 150 strokes.

Grip said he wouldn’t credit the drop-off to anything, but said that some of it may have been nerves.

“We all played really well the first day,” Grip said. “It’s tough to say that it could really be attributed to anything . all you can say is ‘golf is a weird game.'”

The Blugolds will wrap up the fall season next weekend with the three-day Gustavus Adolphus Twin Cities Classic. Golfers will be on the course Saturday through Monday.