Poor Conditions Lead to Shortened Tournaments for Golf Teams

Kyle Howe

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Over the weekend, both Whitman men’s and women’s golf teams fought against the elements in the Spring Classic in Bremerton, Wash. The persistent rain led to unplayable conditions on the course, leading to the second day of both men’s and women’s tournaments to be canceled.

The men finished sixth overall in the shortened tournament, with Whitworth University taking the team title. The cancellation of the second day only further frustrated the men’s team.

“Everyone on our team wanted to play to improve our standing, but ultimately we weren’t given the chance. It was a bummer especially because we pride ourselves as a ‘second-round team.’ Traditionally we have played much better on the last days of tournaments. Overall, it was a frustrating weekend due to poor playing conditions and a lack of an opportunity to rebound after one tough day,” said first-year Daniel Hoffman.

On the course, the weather proved to be the team’s greatest adversary.

“The tournament was played in the worst conditions we have seen all year. The greens were totally flooded and we were even forced to putt through puddles of standing water on the first day. Temperatures were extremely cold and that takes a toll on you after five hours of play. The second day of the tournament was canceled due to such poor course conditions. The course superintendent deemed the course unplayable and we were forced to face a long rain delay before the cancellation of day two,” said Hoffman.

The men head to Moses Lake this upcoming Saturday to compete in the Washington Cup, before heading to the conference championships on April 20 and 21 in Woodburn, Ore.

The women faced a similar problem with continuous rain while facing off against George Fox University, the number-four team in the country.

“Last weekend was a difficult challenge for our team emotionally. We were five shots behind George Fox after day one and 17 shots in front of the third-place team, Willamette,” said Coach Skip Molitor.

The cancellation of the second day due to weather was maddening for the team.

“Our ladies felt they had a great chance of catching [George] Fox. It was very disappointing to have the second round canceled … which resulted in Fox winning the Spring Classic with Whitman in second. We played well day one, with Kelly Sweeney in third place with a 78 and Catelyn Webber tied for fourth at 79. Katie Zajicek shot 82 and Caitlin Holland rounded out the scoring with an 88,” said Molitor.

Now with the mentally challenging circumstances of the Spring Classic behind them, the women look ahead to their next challenge as they hope to make another return to the NCAA Championships. On April 20 and 21 the team will travel to Woodburn, Ore. for the NWC Championships, where they will face their rival George Fox again.

“If we beat [George] Fox in that tournament, both teams will head to the first tee and have a sudden-death playoff for the Automatic Qualifier berth for the conference to the NCAA Women’s DIII Championship in Destin, Fla., May 14-17. We will be in the discussion for an at-large berth if we don’t get the AQ … but our best chance is to take care of business and defend our NWC Championship title and return to the NCAAs,” said Molitor.

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