After a long off season, the men’s golf team is busy preparing to tee off for the upcoming NSIC spring preview and conference championship.
The spring season began with a fourth place team finish at the MJGA Collegiate Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. with a score of 46-over-par. Senior Parker Klitzke finished as the top golfer for Augustana, finishing round one two-over-par (74) and round two two-under-par (70), good for a third place title.
Senior Ted Urch tied for 11th at MJGA with scores of 3-over-par and 9-over-par. Junior Carter Kranz and sophomore Cole Crawford rounded out scores for the team, placing 24th (+15) and 30th (+25) respectively,
The team quickly followed up with a 12th place finish at the 14-team, two day Winona State Invitational, shooting a combined total of 626 after two rounds.
Klitzke kept his place as lead golfer, shooting 6-over-par and 3-over-par for an 18th place individual tie. Urch finished tied for 35th place at 7-over-par and 4-over-par over two rounds.
“This is going to be an interesting year,” Klitzke said. “We struggled, and by the results of Vegas, you would think that we continue to struggle. But, you can’t really judge how we played in Vegas by our results. We’ve got a lot of good practice in, lot of good work in, and there is more that goes into it than just how we perform on the golf course.”
Head coach Danny Sinksen said that every tournament this spring is in preparation for the NSIC Conference Championship, including the spring preview.
“Each week, we’re learning more [and] we’re getting prepared,” Sinksen said. “We’re coming off a winterim and we’re still not playing [outdoors] up here in South Dakota, so every time we go to an event, it’s getting used to being outside and not just hitting in cages.”
Sinksen said in order to place at the spring preview and conference championship, the team needs to improve course management, minimize mistakes and play to their strengths.
“Our main focus right now is working on our balance, our tempo and having low tension while out playing,” Sinksen said. “We’re working on those three facets, and if we can get those accomplished, I think we’ll do just fine at conference.”
Last season, Augustana placed 8th at the Spring Preview. Klitzke shot 3-under-par in the final round to claim his first career win, followed by second first place finish at the NSIC Championship, third place at the regional championship, and an NSIC Conference player of the year title.
“The most important thing for me at the spring preview is—because it’s the same golf course—is figuring out how I want to play the course and what type of condition the course is in,” Klitzke said. “That’s going to affect the way I’m going to play it and get comfortable and prepared for the conference championship.”
To qualify for the NSIC Regional Championship, Augustana will have to beat out lead teams in the conference, including clear leaders Mankato State University and Winona State University.
“It’s easy to go out and play well for 10, 12, 14 holes,” Klitzke said. “But somewhere in there, you’re going to have a double bogey or a triple bogey that derails your round. Before you know it, you come in with something in the 80s, [and] for most of our guys, that’s what they shoot. The more practices we have, the more tournaments we play, the better we’ll get. Hopefully.”
Leave a Reply