Golf Finishes 16th at Opening Event

Golf Finishes 16th at Opening Event

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The NC Wesleyan Golf team finished 16th at the NCAA Div. III Preview Tournament in Palm Beach Gardens that was hosted by Emory University over the weekend. The tournament was played at PGA National Champion Course.

All of the 18 teams encountered numerously difficult conditions on the course over the weekend as the Bishops shot rounds of 323, 319, and 316 improving each day for a 958 score. Host Emory won the tournament with a 874 total score (302-287-285).

"Winds were consistently blowing from 15 to 20 mph each day from the tropical depression just off shore and the players had to play 72 holes in 3 days of which 36 were played on Saturday, 18 holes on Sunday walking," commented head coach Gregg Ripke. "The sun was very hot and we were thankful for the wind. So everyone was bushed at the end of the tournament."

"Despite our low performance, there were some positives with sophomore Frankie Schmitt leading us and shooting an even par 72 in last round," said Coach Ripke. "Freshman Luis Zurita struggled in his first collegiate tournament for 45 holes and then settled down for a finishing eight stretch of pars, despite walking 36 holes with massive blisters on both feet. [Senior} Nico Strafe came in with fairly consistent play despite being out of competition over 5 months. {fellow seniors] Luke Thornton and Dustin Wood had flashes of brilliance at times, but dealt with cramps near the end of our Marathon Day and then legs just started to be very painful on the last day."

Schmitt led the Bishops with the top round on the team each day shooting two 77s on Saturday and his even-par 72 on Sunday to finish just 10 strokes over par in 21st place.

Strafe then placed 74th with a quality round of 78 on Saturday, but fell back with two straight 83s to finish at 244. Wood and Thornton then each tied for 78th place with total scores of 248 apiece. Wood broke 80 once with his 79 during the second round while Thornton steadily increased his scores each day with an 80 and 79. Zurita's best round was an 82 in the third round for a score of 259 to place 85th overall. 

The Bishops will next return home next Sunday and Monday Sept. 22-23 to host the Don Scalf Memorial at Belmont Lake Golf Club.