This past weekend, the University of Dallas golf team travelled to Tunica, Miss., for the SCAC Men’s Golf Championship. The team arrived in Mississippi Thursday morning and played their practice round in preparation for Friday’s opening round. The 54-hole tournament was played over the duration of three days (April 27-29), and featured many familiar UD rivals such as Trinity, Hendrix and Southwestern University. Although UD’s young team struggled to mount a charge on the leaderboard, sophomore Marcos Martinez got off to a good start shooting a 79 in the first round — while freshman Stephan Jasper carded consistent scores all three days. Additionally, senior Collin Puthoff finished the tournament in the top 10 for par-3 scoring in the 48 person field. Overall, the team had 71 pars and 14 birdies.
Puthoff, the only senior on the team, noted that, despite the end result, there were many positives to take away from the tournament: “It was a valuable trip – we were excited to represent the University of Dallas in our new conference, and continue to build our tournament experience.” Puthoff noted that the winner of the tournament, Oglethorpe University, is a nationally ranked team that “is always in the chase for the national D-III title. They are always very competitive.”
The entire weekend was affected by the playing conditions, which, according to senior Puthoff, were pretty challenging at times: “The wind played a factor all three days, but it was particularly fierce on Saturday. The whole field scored higher – everyone was affected,” said Puthoff. “There were 25-30 mile-per-hour wind gusts causing the trees to bend over, golf bags to fall over and whitecaps to form on the water hazards.” These windy conditions were only exacerbated by the links-style course layout, which featured minimal treeline protection from the winds as well as water on every hole.
Although Puthoff is graduating after his four years on the team, the rest of the UD golfers will look to carry on next year to improve in their second year in the SCAC on the shoulders of Martinez and Jasper. With potential freshmen recruits joining the team this coming fall, combined with the experience of returning players, the team looks to make an impact on the greens next year.