Making a comeback

    Despite a rough start for men’s golf, Eau Claire excelled in the final round

    More stories from Nicole Bellford


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    In their final round of play, the Blugolds exceeded expectations and moved up dramatically in the rankings both individually and as a team.

    The UW-Eau Claire men’s golf team traveled to Jordan, Minnesota on April 23-24 for the Bobby Krig Invite, turning in some spectacular individual performances and finishing in fourth place overall.

    Head Coach Mike Greer said he was happy with the way his team endured and stayed calm despite troubling circumstances.

    “I was really proud of the way they responded,” Greer said. “We got off to a slow start in rounds one and two, and I think it would have been really easy for them to not play as hard in the final round and kind of go through the motions, but we didn’t get ahead of ourselves, stayed patient, stayed in the moment and played our game.”

    Sunday marked day one of the invitational at the Ridges at Sand Creek, with the Blugolds getting off to a slow start. Eau Claire’s cumulative team score added up to 303 (+15) while senior Joey Dreier led the Blugold leaderboard in a tie for tenth place with a score of 74 (+2).

    Freshman Michael Immakus was next in line for Eau Claire, placing 19th with a score of 75. Junior Ryan Isaacson followed closely behind with a score of 76, earning a tie for the 26th place slot.

    Eau Claire’s duo of senior Brady Hanson and sophomore Phil Johnson shot an identical score of 78, tying for 39th place at the conclusion of day one. Sunday’s performances put the Blugolds in 7th place overall going into day two.

    Despite rough beginnings, the next day at LeSeur Country Club showed a fresh start for Eau Claire. The second round concluded with the Blugolds sitting at an overall score of 306 before making an exceptional comeback in the final round, earning a final tally of 290 and the fourth place title. Leading the pack in rounds two and three of the invite was Hanson, dominating his individual performance and raking up first place medalist honors.

    Although Hanson shot upward of 70 in round one, his final rounds of competition resulted in scores of 69 and 68, earning him the title over St. Thomas’ Pete Sienko by a single stroke.

    Coach Greer said he had never seen anything like it.

    “Brady came storming back,” Greer said. “In my experiences both as a player and a coach in this sport, I have never seen a better performance than what he did.”

    Aside from Hanson’s performance, teammates Isaacson and Immekus also concluded the competition with improved scores. Issacson earned a score of 73 in both of Monday’s rounds, moving up six spots to take 13th place. While Immekus struggled in the second round with a score of 81, his final round was strong enough to score a 71, improving by 15 spots and earning a tie for 25th place.

    Isaacson, a junior physical education student said he was glad his team pushed through.

    “I was happy with the way we finished considering the position we put ourselves in after the first two rounds,” Isaacson said. “When we needed to deliver, we did just that.”

    Eau Claire will hit the course once again on April 29 at the Saint John’s Spring Invitational.