Ewald ties course record, leads Washburn to another MIAA win

Eric Smith

The Washburn golf team wrapped up the 2007 fall season with a win at the Fort Hays State Invitational Oct. 9. However, this one was due to some late heroics by several Washburn golfers, especially by junior Matt Ewald.

Winning the tournament by six strokes with a score of 134, Ewald’s 8-under 63 in the second round tied a Smoky Hills Country Club course record and led the team to a victory. But the win did not come easily.

Shooting a 10-over 294 in round one, the team was down two strokes to Central Missouri. The second round was a historic one, both in a positive and negative light.

“The second round was kind of a tale of two different nines,” said coach Doug Hamilton. “Coming in to day two, we were feeling confident in our game and just hoping to have a good second round. We did just the opposite of that for the first nine holes. At the halfway point, we had dropped 13 shots back. I just couldn’t believe it.”

After a good pep talk, though, the Washburn golfers got back on track in a big way.

“At the turn, we talked about staying positive and just working on making birdies on the back nine,” said Hamilton. “And the guys really responded well. We played the back nine as a team shooting 12-under-par. And even bigger than that, we played the last four holes 9-under-par.”

The team ended up shooting a 2-under 282 for day two, narrowly edging out the Mules of CMSU by two strokes.

“Coming down to the last hole, Ewald and [Yoder] from CMSU were on the 18th green,” said Hamilton. “The teams were tied, and Ewald made about a 25-footer for birdie while the other guy missed his putt. And that was the tournament. Ewald kind of put us on his back and gave us a chance.”

Matt Salome tied for fifth with a 3-over 145 while Matt Lazzo tied for eighth with a 4-over 146. Sam Wempe tied for 24th with a 10-over 152, and John Robbins tied for 28th with an 11-over 153. Playing as individuals, Ryan Deutsch tied for 11th with a 6-over 148, and Daniel Hersch finished tied for 14th with a 7-over 149. Dustin Yeager finished in a tie for 24th with a 10-over 152.

The team win was the second MIAA points win of the year and the seventh consecutive victory dating back to last year.

“Although this was not necessarily our best golf of the year, we were excited to win another league event,” said Salome.

The previous few fall seasons have gone well for the Washburn men’s golf team. This one was no exception.

Even with last year’s seniors leaving, the team still has depth with three different individual tournament champions in Lazzo, Salome and Ewald.

With three team tournament wins out of five, including two in the conference, the team puts itself in a good position to make a championship run in the spring.

The golfers now have the winter to condition and get ready for the first tournament, which will be held in early March.

“Our expectations will continue to be the same into the spring,” said Salome. “We just want to go out and play the golf we know we’re capable of playing.”