Veteran golf team looks to prove themselves at Kiawah Island Invite in South Carolina

Eric Smith

Beginning its 10th year at Washburn, the Ichabod golf team starts one of its most anticipated seasons to date today in South Carolina at the Kiawah Island Invite. The Washburn golf team will tee off on the Cougar Point Golf Course with high expectations for the season.

Playing in this tournament for the second year in a row, the team returns six upperclassmen including last season’s MIAA player of the year, junior Matt Ewald.

At the Kiawah Invite in 2006, senior Ryan Deutsch led the way for the team, hitting an overall 3-over-par 147, good enough for a ninth place finish. As a team, the Ichabod golfers hit an 8-over-par 294 the first day, which was good for a third place showing. But after every single Washburn golfer had a worse second day score, the team slipped to seventh at the event with a 28- over- par 314 finish.

“Last year we started off strong, playing our usual first round. On the second day, we put a little extra pressure on ourselves because we really hadn’t won outside the Midwest,” said senior John Robbins. “We didn’t really stick to our game plan as far as managing ourselves on the golf course, making pars and accepting that. We just have to use last year’s experience as a building block and learn from it.”

Coming off a fifth place finish at the Division II National Championships, the Ichabods know they are at the top of the MIAA and are one of the hunted now. “Once you do something like that everyone wants to beat you that much more,” said Robbins. “We know were not going to be able to take anything for granted really and never settle. We’re always trying to get better.”

The team hopes to improve its scores even more this year so they put themselves in position to be competing for first at every tournament.

“This year we expect to go out there and put up a good showing,” said Deutsch. “We have a good team with enough talent that we should be able to go out there with a good chance to win it.”

Winning nine tournaments was quite the feat last year for the Ichabods. This year, the veteran team is hungry for more and has big goals for themselves, for the season and the first meet.

“Hopefully our scores can speak for themselves,” said Deutsch. “It’s our first meet. We’re going to go out there and do the best we can. Take it one hole at a time; let the chips fall where they may fall. Having not played a tournament in a while, we’re ready to go out there and compete.”