Men’s golf team looks to improve on 12th place finish in Hawaii
The beauty of Hawaii overwhelms the senses. Perhaps aesthetics are partly to blame for a lackluster performance by the CU men’s golf team two weeks ago.
A lack of practice leading up to the event, because of snow, might have also played a role in the Buffs’ struggles in Waikoloa, Hawaii. Even with a rough start to the spring, the team looks to come back strong down the stretch.
First-year head coach Roy Edwards wasn’t disappointed in the team effort.
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“For our first tournament, I was overall pretty pleased with it,” Edwards said. “We got 12th out of 18 teams and it was a good field. We were a little rusty, but we were able to beat a few teams who were in the same situation as ours, as far as going in without practicing.”
Playing golf in Colorado forces players to get creative in practice methods. The team has a membership at an indoor practice facility and some of the guys make do with what they have.
“I do anything I can,” said sophomore Derek Tolan. “I swing in the house. Plus, there is always somewhere you can at least go and hit some balls.”
Junior teammate Michael Baird, who is Tolan’s roommate, also tries to stay in form during the off-season.
“Derek and I put a rug up in our garage and hit some balls into there,” Baird said. “I also went down to Tucson with Luke Symons (another CU teammate) to play a bit.”
Baird’s off-season efforts definitely came through in the first event of the spring. He posted an 18th place finish, with a 5-under-par score for three rounds.
His solid showing tied the lowest 54-hole score in school history, matching the mark set by former CU standout Kane Webber and current teammate Patrick Grady.
Baird joined the team in the fall as a transfer and said he likes his change of scene.
“We have awesome team chemistry,” Baird said. “I transferred from a team with bad chemistry at Pepperdine, but we all get along great here.”
Coach Edwards mentioned Baird as one of the guys he looks to have a great season.
“Michael Baird has played really well,” Edwards said. “He played well in our first tournament this year and in the last two fall events as well. He is on the verge of doing some great things.”
While young guns like Derek Tolan and Luke Symons look to have an immediate impact on this year’s team, Coach Edwards does not discount the values of having seniors with experience
“Ryan Anderson and Blake Moore are guys that I look for (in terms of key contributors),” Edwards said. “We really need two or three guys to step up and be leaders and I think we are really close to doing that.”
Senior Ryan Anderson talked about the team’s goals for the spring.
“All year long, we have had really good team chemistry and along with that, we are pushing each other to get better each and every week,” Anderson said. “We are preparing to peak as a team for the big tournaments at the end of the year. Obviously the big goal is to win NCAA finals, but to get there we have to do well in the Big 12 and NCAA Regional.
The Buffs return to action later this week when they travel to Houston, Tex., to tee it up in The All-American.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Ben Dignan at email@example.com