Men’s golf sets
The Augustana men’s golf team finishes its season this weekend at the NSIC Championship tournament at the Jewel Golf Course in Lake City, Minn.
Last weekend, at the Upper Iowa Spring Invite, the team came in 6th with a team total of 620. Freshman Collin Hammer finished in the top 10 with a score of 151.
Hammer, a chemistry major from Sioux Falls, SD, had the lowest scores of the Augustana team in the first three tournaments this spring. Hammer, along with junior Drew Trautman, have led the team with the top two individual scores in every tournament this spring.
“I’ve kind of been lucky that some of the other players haven’t played quite as well, so it’s been easier for me to come to the number one spot,” Hammer said.
Despite individual successes, the golf team as a whole has struggled this season to play up to their potential, according to head coach Steven Klock.
“I’m still waiting for players to step up and play well consistently,” he said.
Figuring out the “mental part” of the game is one of the biggest obstacles the team faced this season, according to senior Tyler Jensvold.
“Really the biggest challenge has not been so much mechanics, but it’s been trying to keep a positive attitude throughout the team,” Jensvold said.
At the Quarry Oaks Collegiate on March 31, the Vikings let their strong “mechanics” shine with a fourth place finish, their highest ranking this spring.
The team got off to a rough start this semester. After tying for 9th place with Harding in the Drury Inn Central Region Invite in the fall, the team fell to a 15th place finish out of 17 teams at the David Falconer Memorial Invite on March 11.
“That was kind of a good way to start the season, I think, to really be put in an atmosphere where there’s teams down in the southern region that are playing really well right now,” Jensvold said.
With only two graduating seniors, the golf team is comprised mostly of underclassmen. The young team hopes to continue improving in order to make it to regionals next year, according to Hammer.
“Our team improved by leaps and bounds in terms of consistency, team chemistry, and developing and honing in skills crucial to future success,” junior Drew Trautman said.
Though the team has struggled to hit their stride this season, individual players such as Hammer, Jensvold and sophomore Clay Kopplin have posted strong individual scores.
“You can’t really look at it like a team sport like basketball or football,” Jensvold said.
“In football, everybody’s got to work together to win the game, versus golf, where it’s four or five guys going out there, posting their own scores.”