You can lead a donkey to California, and it’s still a donkey.
You can lead a golf team to California, and it’s still a team that has won four tournaments in a row.
The Ichabod golf team will make an appearance in San Clemente, Calif., at the 57th Southern Cal Intercollegiate Championships beginning today and running through Tuesday, March 6.
And despite having won their last four tournaments, the Ichabods only have a No. 16 ranking nationally. If a good golf team from the Midwest goes to the coast, it’s still a good team isn’t it?
“We always feel like we don’t get enough respect from the rest of the colleges because we are a Midwest school,” said Taylor Dunham, senior. “We’re hoping to play well and boost our No. 16 ranking.”
Playing well would not only serve the team well in its first tournament of the spring season, but it will also send a message across the nation that Washburn can compete with the big boys.
“The competition will probably be the best we’ve seen this year,” said Dunham. “California schools are always top notch; they’ve been playing year round.”
Currently, the Ichabods are ranked No. 4 in par-4 scoring, No. 5 in par-5 scoring and No. 4 in subpar strokes per round in Division II.
Leading the charge individually for the Ichabods is Ryan Deutsch, junior. He is, in Division II, ranked No. 7 in par-4 scoring, No. 4 in par-5 scoring and No. 2 in subpar strokes per round.
“I don’t know what to expect, we haven’t played a whole lot. I’ll try to get everything I can out of it,” said Deutsch of today’s tournament.
Deutsch also has a No. 20 ranking in the Golfstat Cup standings which ranks college golfers on all levels nationally with the lowest yearly scoring average, which is adjusted for par and conditions.
The team left for California Friday to find some much needed good weather in preparation for the tournament.
“I think when we get to California we will do as much practicing as we can because the weather here has been cold and we haven’t gotten out much this year,” said Matt Ewald, sophomore.
One difference the team is looking for in California is better par-3 scoring.
“I think we improved on our par-3 scoring,” said Ewald. “We used to always struggle at that. We did better last semester than we have previous years.”
Dunham echoes Ewald’s statement and adds that the team’s ability to hit the deep ball will help in that respect.
“The course is rather short, it’s only 6,500 yards,” said Dunham. “So with our team having three guys that can hit the ball 300 yards off the tee every time, we can take less off the tee and keep it in the fairway.”
So if it does hold true that a golf team from the Midwest is the same as a golf team on the coast, the Ichabod’s No. 16 ranking should continue to rise if they can carry over their momentum from the fall portion of the season.
“As a team, we’re all pumped up and ready to go. It’s hard to know what to expect because we’ve only been out on the golf course for about a week,” said Dunham. “But I do think after playing with most of the guys this last week or so, things are looking real good.”