Golfers continue spring season on road

Ray Bressette

The NMU men’s golf team will head to the GLIAC South-Winding Hollow tournament Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20 in Columbus, Ohio.Head coach Kyle Wittenbach said he was disappointed in his team’s performance at the most recent tournament.

“We clearly have a lot of work to do,” Wittenbach said. “At the moment, we’re in the process of taking care of business that we’re going to need to take care of as we continue to move forward.” The team competed at the NCAA Regional III-Purgatory Sunday, April 13 and Monday, April 14 in Noblesville, Ind.

The Wildcats totaled 645 points on the weekend, finishing 28th out of 30. Junior Ayrton Mantha led the Wildcats in the match, tying for 12th with 154 points. Senior Jared Reid tied for 96th with a score of 159, while sophomore Austin LeGault and freshman Hunter Mires tied with 167 points and freshman Dustin Dishaw scored 171 for the ’Cats.

Mires said the team needs to improve their game as a whole to become successful.

“We have to work on getting a better team score with more consistency,” Mires said. “There’s some big competition down there, and every one of the teams is very good. “We only have five players, but everyone’s going to have to show up and contribute to get a good score, and not just have a few players do well.”

Last season, NMU tied Malone University with a 645 score for ninth out of 13 teams at GLIAC South, while Wayne State University went home with the tournament win. The Wildcats will have shorter time between games this week, with only five days separating their final day at the NCAA Regional III-Purgatory and their trip to the GLIAC South-Winding Hollow this weekend.

Mires said the quick turnaround this week will be beneficial to the team’s play.

“I think we’ll be better off playing as much golf as possible in a short time,” Mires said. “We hit inside here throughout the week, but can’t get outside as much with the weather so it’s definitely not the same as a real play. We’ll be heading down a few days early to hit around at a different course to get back into the flow of golf.”

The Wildcats will finish their spring season at the Ferris State University Bulldogs Invitational-Katke Saturday, April 26 in Big Rapids, Mich. Mires said his team will look to finish the spring strong.

“The high expectations to win might not be there, but we do expect to play as well as we can with what we have,” Mires said. “We’re hoping for some good weather the rest of the way, and that we shoot as well as we can.”