Washburn golf team unable to keep up with Central Missouri

Eric Smith

Finishing second place as a team in golf is usually not a bad thing, especially when you have the top two individuals in the tournament. But for the Washburn Ichabods golf team, Tuesday’s finish at the Truman State Bulldog Classic in Kirksville, Mo., was a tough one to take.

“Yea, we’re extremely disappointed,” said Washburn senior Dustin Yeager who won the tournament after defeating sophomore teammate Riley Piles on a playoff hole.

Yeager and the Ichabods led MIAA rival Central Missouri by six strokes after one round Monday before giving up 14 strokes to the Mules on Tuesday to lose the first MIAA point-standings event of the season.

Finishing second and eight strokes behind UCM, Yeager and the Ichabods team just couldn’t keep up with the last year’s MIAA champions.

“The course was playing harder today but we didn’t come out and play our game. We just didn’t play well as a team,” said Yeager, who shot a 68 Monday before hitting a 73 Tuesday. “Each of us struggled. Made some mental mistakes. A few bad swings here and there. A few bad breaks but as a team we didn’t step up.”

While Washburn actually only dropped three strokes between the two days with 287 and 290, UCM just picked up the pace for the second round, breaking away from the competition.

“Central is a talented team,” said Yeager. “They have a lot of good players on their team. They’re going to be tough to beat. If we want to contend with Central, we’re going to have to play better. Every one of us has got to step up and play well. Any day one of us could be the low man on the team and we have a well-balanced team. But we just didn’t come to play.”

Washburn’s team total of 577 strokes was 20 strokes ahead of Missouri Southern who finished third.

Yeager and Piles both finished one stroke up on the field at 1-under 141 while Ichabod freshman Nathan Hoefflin finished tied for seventh at 144. Redshirt freshman Brian Walker tied for ninth with a 145 as well, and senior Matt Lazzo tied for 23rd with a 149. Miles Christensen, Nate Sargent and Jeffery Jarvis wrapped out the Washburn team with a two-day total of 150, 155 and 157 respectively.

Next Monday and Tuesday, the Ichabod golfers are back on the links in Broken Arrow, Okla., for the NSU Men’s Golf Classic.

“At the tournament next week, there’s going to be all the good teams,” said Yeager. “There’s going to be a little bit stronger field. Central will be there, NSU, a lot of our regional teams. I’m looking forward to it, I think we’re just going to have to play better.”