By Ben Brown
The men’s golf team opened the two-weekend Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship last weekend with a second place finish in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Grizzlies posted a 311 score on Saturday followed by a 310 on Sunday. The team only leads Hanover College by one stroke.
The Grizzlies are led by Senior Chris Arnold who is tied for second place with Transylvania’s Ben Fister. Arnold shot a 71 on Saturday followed by a 73 on Sunday.
Senior Joshua Rhodes is also performing well. Rhodes is tied for 16th after shooting an 81 and a 78.
The team will finish the tournament at Anderson University this weekend.
Sophomore Sam Pollock said he expects the team to not just keep up the same level of play this weekend but to improve from last weekend.
“Besides Chris, I don’t think we were all too pleased with our performance,” Pollock said. “These past few weeks we have been playing well and holding ourselves to higher standards.”
Currently in the tournament Transylvania University has ran away with the championship.
“It’s going to take an unheard of collapse from Transy combined with great golf from us to win,” Knue said. “I’m not expecting Transy to collapse, but in the chance they do, we will be waiting and ready to take advantage.”
Transylvania is currently leading with a 35 shot lead over second place Franklin.
“The chance of us winning is honestly none,” Pollock said. “But we are in a position to show the conference we belong towards the top. This tournament has built our confidence as a team.”
Instead of waiting for a collapse the team is setting other goals in the second half of the tournament. Sophomore Andrew Benhke said the team wants to make their one stroke lead over Hanover larger by the end of the tournament.
To increase that lead all three have improvements they want to make individually.
“Personally I need to clean up my starts and my tee shots,” Knue said. “If I can do a better job of putting myself in position to score, I will be able to take advantage of my short game rather than relying on it to save par.”
Pollock said his biggest struggle in the first weekend was striking with his irons. He said he also wanted to get some hole time to practice tournament situations.
“I have the proper mindset for the weekend,” Pollock said. “I just need to apply it.”
The players believed this season was full of ups and downs, but things are finally coming together.
“This season had started off rough but we are playing the best golf now when it matters,” Benhke said.