Ichabod golfers take eighth in elite tournament

Sheldon Warmington

Every year the nation’s top 20 Division II golf teams get together to showcase themselves and prove how well they can match up against the other top tier programs around the country.

This year the NCAA Division II Preview was held at the Loomis Trail Golf and Country Club in Blaine, Washington, and featured the best of this year’s class, including the likes of Central Oklahoma, Sonoma State, Hawaii Hilo, and host Western Washington.

Of the 20 teams in attendance, Washburn had a rather impressive showing and although eighth place is not an overwhelming success, it is not a bad finish given the caliber of teams represented in the tournament. Up to this point, the team considered the season disappointing compared to the high expectations they originally had.

“We weren’t disappointed with our finish, despite the fact that we could have done better, hopefully we can make the necessary improvements so that we can return to Blaine in May for the nationals,” said Ewald.

One bright spot for the Bods, however, came from an especially brilliant individual performance by Matt Ewald, who was arguably the best golfer in the tournament. Ewald has put together a stellar career at WU, but this year he has developed into that player that can propel his team into action on call, and who can dominate his opponents with his poise at a moment’s notice.

In the Golf Preview, he finished second overall with a total score of 210, only two strokes behind the No. 1 finisher Tyler Bishop from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Dustin Yeager also had a solid tournament, finishing No. 19 with 216 points. Nate Sargent and Matt Salome had great showings as well, finishing with 223 and 224 points, respectively. Lazzo, last year’s point leader for WU, has not shown his true form up to this point, but showed sparks of his old self, which could spell disaster for opposing teams in upcoming tournaments.

Ewald described the team’s experience in Blaine as a good time, saying they had fun, and apart from a few mental errors, they could have had a better collective overall finish in the tournament. The Bods finished eighth overall, which for a relatively young team translates to the team having room for major improvement.

The Bods hope to carry over what they have learned in Washington to the Bearcat invitational in Bolivar, Mo. Oct. 6 and 7 where they will face the rival Central Missouri Mules, along with other teams in the MIAA in what should be a competitive tournament.