Men’s golf struggles at St. John’s Triangular

Story by David Heiling

The UW-Eau Claire men’s golf team took last place out of four teams at the St. John’s Spring Triangular Friday afternoon in St. Cloud, Minn.

The team shot a combined score of 307, 10 strokes behind St. John’s University (Minn.), who won the event. Sophomore Ben Brooks led the Blugolds with an individual score of 75 to earn seventh place individually.

Brooks said the team struggled down the stretch, especially on the last few holes. He felt that was the reason they shot a poor team score.

“We were in the mix until the last few holes,” Brooks said. “No one on the team really finished their round very well …. We need to limit those big numbers down the stretch if we want to be successful.”

The team added this event to their schedule for the first time to see where they rank among some of the region’s elite teams, such as No. 9 St. Johns and No. 24 Concordia College-Moorhead (Minn.). First year coach Mike Greer said he is still optimistic about the spring season.

“It’s still very early in the season,” Greer said. “It is a good measuring stick for us, and we learned what we need to work on going forward through this spring.”

Brooks said he is still confident that the Blugolds can compete with the best teams in the region even if the final outcome on Friday ended up being a bit disappointing. He added that the tournament may have been a good learning experience for the team and that they need to be more focused and mentally tough than they were on Friday.

“Our guys (have) the talent to compete with whoever there is out there,” Brooks said. “We need to be a little more confident and believe in what we have; play to our potential and trust our games.”

Up next for the Blugolds is the UW-Stout Invitational on April 16 at the Chippewa Valley Golf Course.

Eau Claire’s men’s golf team is not a member of a conference and instead plays as an independent program. In order to get to the national tournament, Brooks said that it will be important for the team to do well against other independent teams, such as Stout.

He said that a good outing against the Blue Devils would be an important step toward reaching their goal of making it to nationals.

Greer said he just wants the team to stay focused on playing their best instead of getting too worried about the other teams they will be facing.

“Every guy understands the importance of when we play (Stout),” Greer said. “However, we just need to take care of Eau Claire golf and filter out any distractions.”