After an up-and-down 2016 fall golf season, both the men’s and women’s golf teams are looking to the spring with hope and optimism. But will the teams be able to top last year’s effort?
For the men’s team, the Thunder are hoping for a higher finish than last year’s sixth place finish in the Men’s Golf CCIW Championship. The team also had three top three finishes, the highest the Thunder finished all year.
Already, the team has tied that effort with a third place finish in their most recent spring tournament, the Arizona Christian University Spring Invitational. The Thunder are also a relatively young team with only two seniors on this year’s team, Robby Bowles and Richard Moonjam. Other key returners include sophomore Drew Engelking and juniors Adam Eaton and Micah Dworak.
In last year’s CCIW Championship, Engelking placed 16th, Eaton placed 21st, Bowles placed 27th and Dworak placed 43rd out of 47.
“This spring golf season will be a grind. We are young, it is cold, and the grass is constantly wet,” explained Bowles, “but we have some talented golfers who enjoy to work hard, and are well prepared to face what is ahead.”
Similarly, the women’s team has already bested their best fall finish by placing second in the Arizona Christian University Spring Invitational a couple weeks ago.
Unlike the men’s team, the women were able to win one tournament last year with a first place finish at the Aurora University Spring Invitational. The women also repeated their fourth place finish in the Women’s Golf CCIW Championship this fall.
With no freshmen on the team, the Thunder were led by seniors Madeline Bond with a 12th place finish and a 14th place finish by Ariana Kim in the CCIW Championship this past fall. Juniors Kylie Monson and Rachel Goranson also had 17th and 25th place finishes, respectively. Sophomores Madelin Birkbichler and Karissa Raschke finished side-to-side at number 29 and 30 out of 45.
Overall, the women will rely on the strength and experience of their team in order to succeed this spring.