The sizzling hot streak the UW-Eau Claire men’s golf team has been on over the past month continued with another top finish.
This past weekend the Blugolds concluded their fall portion of their season at the Twin Cities Classic, hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.)
The weather in the Twin Cities was less than ideal, yet the Blugolds finished in third place out of 18 teams at the tournament. Head coach Mike Greer said that again the team had to battle tough conditions on the course.
“We had wind, and rain on day one, and it was kind of that way the whole weekend,” Greer said. “With all of that, I was very proud of the way the boys played.”
A rare feat occurred at the Classic, and it came courtesy of Blugold freshman Brady Hanson. Hanson took first out of 100 golfers at the event with 218 strokes, which were four strokes better than the second place finish. Hanson golfed as an individual for Eau Claire so his score did not count for the team total. Regardless, Greer said Hanson had a pretty exciting weekend.
“Brady went out and played fantastic golf, and I was proud of the way he played,” Greer said. “It was great to see a guy from Eau Claire win that tournament.”
Hanson said during days one and two, he saw that he was shooting good scores, but he didn’t really think much about them because he was more concerned with how the team was doing.
“Once all the scores came in on the final day and I saw that I won, I was surprised, Hanson said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Freshman Joey Dreier said Hanson deserved much credit for his performance, and that Hanson played very good golf.
Dreier recorded a score of 225 strokes, which tied him for eighth. Dreier said that the team started out the tournament playing great golf. The Blugolds were atop the field after day one, and only dropped to second after day two.
“We were a little disappointed in how we finished the tournament,” Dreier said. “But in the grand scheme of things, a third place finish out of 18 teams is not a bad thing at all.”
Greer said he has been impressed with how Dreier has stepped up, and seeing freshmen like Hanson and Dreier contribute right away is a cool thing to see.
The Blugolds have finished in third place or better the past three weeks. Greer attributes much of the team’s success to the fact that the Blugolds have a deep pool of talent this year.
“To see Brady, who was playing as an individual and against a strong field, go out and win the tournament truly shows how deep we are,” Greer said.
Hanson said the strong depth is good for the competition of the team.
“I think when the team sees the younger guys shooting well it pushes everyone to play better,” Hanson said.
As the hot streak is now over due to the end of the fall season, the Blugold have a winter offseason ahead of them. Greer said his players have earned a chance to relax and enjoy a break due to the fact that they had been grinding and working hard all fall.
“We had a fantastic fall season, and we did that by sticking to our game plan, which is playing our game and not letting thing outside of ourselves effect us,” Greer said. “All fall we played Blugold golf.”