Lion tamers they are not, but for two days the Washburn Ichabod golfers saddled up the Lions of Missouri Southern State and rode on to their second-straight victory.
However, the Ichabods weren’t so worried about whether they could actually saddle up a lion as they were with trying to recapture their play of the fall season.
“It feels good,” said Matt Lazzo, freshman transfer from Wichita State, of their latest win streak. “We were kind of in a slump the first part of the semester. I was wondering what was going on because we should’ve been winning.”
Washburn took the Missouri Southern Invitational victory by six strokes over Missouri Southern State. Matt Ewald, sophomore, took the individual win for the Ichabods with a 142 even-par outing. However, both Ewald and the Ichabods were trailing after day one of the tourney.
“It wasn’t that hard of a course, but they went and made it tough,” said Ryan Deutsch, junior golfer who tied in 29th place for Washburn with a 159. “They hid the pins in places that made it tough.”
What made the pin placements even tougher was a gusting wind. Everyone felt the effects, including Ewald.
“The first day I made some dumb bogeys,” said Ewald, who is ranked No. 6 in Division II par-5 scoring. “The second day I got off to a good start. I birdied No. 8, which was a tough hole, and I eagled No. 9, which was a par 5. So I shot 32 on the front. On the back I made a couple birdies.
“I ended up shooting 67 in the wind which was a really good score.”
Also scoring for the Ichabods were John Robbins, junior, and Taylor Dunham, senior. Robbins carded a 151 for an 8th place tie. Dunham finished with a 153, good for a 16th place tie.
In addition, Lazzo also scored with a tie in 18th place at 155.
“Some guys played good one day and then other guys played good the other day. So we kind of picked each other up,” said Lazzo.
The win also expands Washburn’s lead in the MIAA standings to seven over the University of Central Missouri, 32-25. Missouri Southern is in third with 23.
Washburn also carries the No. 1 ranking in the Central region, as of March 30.
Next up on the slate for the Ichabods is another west coast trip, this time out to Seaside, Calif., for the Otter Invitational, April 9-10.
“It’s at this course called Bayonet and Blackhorse,” said Ewald. “Bayonet is said to be one of the toughest courses out in Monterey (County), Calif. So it will be interesting to see how we play on it and how other teams play on it if it’s as tough as they say it is.”
While the course is said to offer substantial resistance, possibly a more important resistance will come from the quality of teams that will be present.
“Some top 10 teams will be out there,” said Deutsch. “It’ll be a good chance to see where we stack up with teams not in the Midwest.”
The last time the Ichabods shot for that goal, they came up rather short in California as well with an 11th place finish at the 57th Southern Cal Collegiate Championships in their first tournament of the spring season.
However, this time the Ichabods have played in a few tournaments and appear to be getting what the Emperor tried oh so hard to find – a new groove.
“We all have the talent,” said Ewald. “Coach said this is one of the best teams he’s put out there in a tournament. We’re just struggling to find our consistency.”