By Andrea Papania
The University of Dallas men’s golf team made a solid showing at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championships that took place April 20-21 at Vaaler Creek Golf Club in Blanco, Texas.
The five competitors on the course for UD were freshmen Chris Eckes, Matthew Nickel and Chris Sarrat, sophomore Michael Sarrat and senior Stephan Jasper. The tournament opened up early Monday morning with grueling back-to-back rounds of 18 holes.
Eckes had a standout performance, shooting 81 in the first round followed by a personal and school-best of 69 during the second round. He has been playing well all year, most notably with his previous career-low of 70 against Hendrix College last fall.
Another impressive performance on the opening day came from Jasper, who shot a pair of 84s. Jasper was elected captain this year, but has been a leader on the team ever since he first joined as a freshman. In an interview, Jasper expressed a positive outlook on his experience and the future of the team.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how this team develops over the next couple of years. We were very young this season, and I think that for those guys to have the same teammates for the next couple of seasons it will help them push each other to become better players,” Jasper said. “Coach Perkins is a very exciting improvement to the program with his fresh outlook on the team and his professional instruction and playing background.”
The men collectively shot 368 in the opening round and 344 in the second round, closing the first day with a score of 712.
UD continued shooting steadily during the final round on Tuesday. Nickel and Michael Sarrat both shot their tournament bests of 89 and 94, respectively. Jasper closed with 86, ending his career on a remarkable 15-foot put with three feet of break from right to left for par.
The Crusaders finished the third round with 344, a score which brought their total to 1056 and ranked them at sixth place. Despite coming in last place in the tournament, UD’s future in golf looks bright. Eckes tied for 11th place in the individual rankings and made the SCAC All-Conference Second Team. With a strong foundation set by Jasper and new talent like Eckes, the UD golf team shows promise for good things to come next season.