Ichabod golfers prepare mentally for Regionals

corey garriott

Thirty-four weeks, 12 tournaments, eight wins, one MIAA Conference Championship – and it all comes down to this for the Ichabod golf team.

One win for a shot at a dream, one loss to end it all.

“I think the biggest challenge for us is mentally, because we know we can win,” said Matt Ewald, sophomore Ichabod golfer. “We just have to put that behind us and go out and play instead of saying ‘we’re the best’ and getting cocky and not executing.”

Washburn will compete in the NCAA Division II Central/Great Lakes Super Regional today through Wednesday as the No. 1-ranked team in the Central Regional. A win sends the Ichabods to the 45th Annual NCAA Championships May 22-25, and anything else will prematurely end one of the greatest seasons in Ichabod golf history.

The Regional will take place in Joplin, Mo., on Missouri Southern’s home course – the No. 3-ranked team in the Regional.

“We have a lot of confidence knowing that we are the best team,” said Ewald. “It’ll be tough with Missouri Southern. They’re a good team and they are playing at their home course. It’ll be a tough test for us to go out there and beat them at one of their home courses.”

Missouri Southern finished fourth in the MIAA conference standings. Central Missouri will also be at the tournament and is ranked No. 2 in the Central Regional while finishing second in the MIAA standings to Washburn, nine points back.

Six total MIAA teams made the field, the other three being Missouri Western, Southwest Baptist and Truman.

Ewald has led Washburn in scoring so far this year with a 72.4 average per round and is looking forward to extending his productive season.

“I feel good. Winning four of the five conference tournaments and getting second in the other – of course it gives me a lot of confidence,” said Ewald. “It’s not cocky, it’s just a confidence that I can go out there and be ‘if I play well I’m the best guy out here’ – so just relax and have fun.”

A new addition to the team that has paid immediate dividends is Matt Lazzo, a freshman transfer from Wichita State.

Lazzo is third on the team in scoring average with 74.5.

“I think I’ve helped the team out a little bit,” said Lazzo. “It’s hard to say that they were missing much first semester when they won four out of five [tournaments] – I like to say I helped a little bit.”

Lazzo has three second-place finishes for Washburn this semester – not bad for only helping a little bit.

Second on the team in scoring is Ryan Deutsch, junior, with a 73.6 average.

Deutsch has three second-place finishes and two third-place finishes on the year.

“Everybody has quite a bit of confidence,” said Deutsch.

As they should with a four-tournament win streak, so don’t expect any changes anytime soon. Washburn is expecting to take its fourth Central Regional title in five years.

“As an individual, just get everything out of yourself you can,” said Deutsch. “If everybody does their part, the team win will take care of itself.”