By Min Jiao
The Builder men and women’s golf teams are preparing for their first golf tournament, which will be played at Eagle Bend Golf Course Sept. 17 in Lawrence. The Braves Invitational is hosted by Ottawa University.
Last spring, the men’s golf team finished second in the Kansas collegiate athletic conference championship. The women’s team won their unaffiliated conference championship, giving them birth into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament last May.
Brad Sexson, head coach, said “For the women to make it to the national tournament is a big deal. The experience they gained there is going to really help them.”
Sexson is optimistic for the outcome of the team’s first tournament for the season. “We play in Lawrence every year. The upper classmen know the course very well at Eagle Bend. It’s not a really hard course so I think we will be ok.”
When asked about who the leaders for this year’s Builder golf team are, Shane Gilbert, business administration sophomore, said “Bobby Weidner is the leader due to his 5 years of experience playing for this team.”
Hannah Watkins, communication junior, said “Jackie McCauley and I are the two girls who have the most experience since we have played on this team from longer and so we know the courses a little better. So I think we probably that help the team win, with the fact that we have a little more experience.”
With 5 new freshman on the men’s team and 2 new women freshman, there is a lot of new talent for the Builder golf teams this year.
Gilbert says, “We have some good freshmen players. They shouldn’t put too much pressure on themselves though. We’re a really young team and we have a lot of talent, it’s really early in the year, so we’re just trying to work out the kinks.”
Watkins also hopes the freshman don’t put too much pressure on themselves to perform their best. “The first tournament is hard for someone who is just coming in. Hopefully they score how they want to but we’re not really looking for them to play a certain way or to play really well. We go to the tournaments and enjoy ourselves.”
Both the men and women’s team are enthusiastic about the year ahead.
“Last year we made it to nationals and it really got us excited for this year because we are hoping to make it there again. We had so much success last year as a team, so it will fuel us to hopefully play just as well this year as we did last year,” Watkins said.
“We are a front runner to win our conference this year. If we play to our expectations then we will be at the top of our conference championship,” Gilbert said.
Min Jiao is a junior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.