The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Men earn at-large bid

    Posted at 12:40 p.m., Tuesday, May 4

    After placing second out of four teams in the Edgewood College Invitational last Friday, the UW-Eau Claire men’s golf team was selected to compete in the NCAA Division III Championship.

    Coach Jim Maguire said it was a pleasant surprise to be selected and looks forward to taking the team to play in Hershey, Penn.

    “I knew if we made it we’d be one of the last ones chosen, but our spring (season) was pretty good,” he said. “We played against some of the best teams in the region, which I think really helped us.”

    In the Edgewood College invitational, Eau Claire totaled 305 strokes compared to UW-Stout’s winning 297. Edgewood College placed third, followed by the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

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    Maguire said the guys were disappointed but added the wind held them back a little, blowing about 30 mph throughout the day even though the weather was nice.

    “Our short game wasn’t that good, and we need to work a little bit on putting and chipping,” he said, “but even though the wind was a factor, they were still hoping for better.”

    Junior Loren Churness earned a score of 73 to finish second individually. He said that even though the pressure to beat Stout may have hurt the team a little, he feels the team did well and was happy with how they played.

    “Our team definitely knew how important it was to beat Stout, so I think we put a lot of stress on ourselves, which may have hurt us a little,” he said. “But we didn’t do horrible, and we played better and improved a lot over this spring.”

    Junior Ryan Grip shot an 81 and said he felt he should have stepped his game up a bit, but the combination of the conditions and the course set him back.

    “On top of it being really windy, the greens were difficult with difficult pin placements,” he said. “Especially for guys who hadn’t played the course before, I think it easily caused us to rack up high numbers.”

    Grip said even though there was a lot of pressure to do well this weekend, he had hoped that they would make it into the championships and has faith in the team.

    “There’s still a glimmer of hope, but we really wanted to beat Stout,” he said. “But there are definitely some positives we can look at. We’re still a fairly young team, and we have room to only get better.”

    Maguire said the tournament should be a good time, and the guys should focus on preparing to go and enjoy the experience.

    “The championships are always a great experience, and when we go, they really take care of us,” he said. “Some of the guys have never been before, so it should be fun to watch them play.”

    The 2010 NCAA DIII Championships will be hosted by Elizabethtown College in Hershey, Penn. The action starts on Tuesday, May 11 and continues through May 14.

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    Men earn at-large bid