Golfers finish second in North Alabama Classic

Eric Smith

The Washburn Ichabod golf team did something last week at the North Alabama Spring Classic that they have only done one other time this season.

That feat-a second place finish at the Robert Trent Jones of the Shoals Fighting Joe Course in Muscle Shoals, Ala.-was the first since the second tournament of the year on Sept. 15-16 in the Pittsburg State Invitational.

“As a team, I think we improved quite a bit in this tournament, compared to our first couple,” said Matt Ewald, senior. “I think the biggest thing is that we had two guys that played real solid instead of just one that we’ve had in the past.”

Last week’s successful outing for the Ichabods, who shot a two-day score of 599 (23 over par), was bested only by the host North Alabama who shot a 597 (21 over par).

UNA led for both rounds, while the Bods, after being down three strokes after day one, picked up one on the Lions for the final 18 holes.

“To only be off by two shots, that’s one shot here, one shot there for each guy,” said Ewald. “We were right there, which is a big plus for us. It’s something to carry on and help us build some confidence.”

Ewald tied for first place with two others shooting a 1-over 145. No playoff was held because of rain. It was Ewald’s second individual tournament title of the season.

The Bods’ Dustin Yeager had his best finish of the season tying for fourth, shooting a 2-over 146.

“I’ve had some good finishes this year,” said Yeager, a junior from British Columbia, Canada. “I’ve just kind of been playing well, keep plugging away. Working hard in practice, trying to shoot better so our team can try and get the first win of the year.”

Three others-Matt Lazzo, Matt Salome and Nate Sargent-finished at least eight strokes behind the leaders at T-20, T-34 and T-88, respectively.

The Bods are in Edmond, Okla., today and Tuesday playing in the UCO/Kickingbird Classic at the Kickingbird Golf Course. They will play their first home tournament in two years next Monday, April 13, at the Topeka Country Club.

“I obviously think we can win out for the rest of the year into the national tournament,” said Yeager. “We’ve got eight great players. Anyone of us eight can play well on any given day. I think it’s just a matter of getting everyone to play well at one time.”