Logger golfers reaching to the stars this season, searching for NWC title and a nationals berth
While it has already competed in tournaments in the fall, the Logger’s men’s golf team is starting off its spring season, with more than a month until the NWC Golf Championships, and are ready to improve each player’s skills and grow as a team throughout the next couple of months.
The Loggers had a successful fall season as well. At the NWC Fall Classic on Oct. 26-27, 2013 at the Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City, Ore. at a par 72 course, Puget Sound ranked in third place of nine teams.
The Loggers’ first event this spring season was Mar. 1-2 at the PLU Invitational in DuPont, Wash. At PLU, Team A for Puget Sound was ranked in second place and Team B placed in sixth place of seven teams. The teams scored 613 and 657 respectively.
The individual rankings for the Loggers for this invitational on March 2 with a par of 72 consisting of eight teams and 38 players were high. Junior Ricky Howard (Madison, Wis.) and senior Matt Kitto (Lake Oswego, Ore.) scored a total of 151, the highest ranked for Puget Sound A. Senior Derek Wilson (Bellevue, Wash.), part of the Puget Sound B team also scored a total of 151.
The golf team is a fairly older team as it consists of very few underclassmen—only two freshmen and one sophomore. One standout on the team is junior Adam Bean (Portland, Ore.) who has had a successful experience here at Puget Sound throughout his years on the team. Playing golf ever since he was five and joined junior camps, Bean came to Puget Sound recognizing the talent of the golf team and how his talent would be an asset to it as well.
Since he has had experience throughout the years, he sees the potential that this team has this year.
“My freshman year we had a solid team with a lot of seniors. I was the only underclassman regularly competing in events.
My sophomore year we did not have as solid of a team with 4 guys who could compete but we never really found a 5th who could contribute.
This year is our best chance to reach nationals, in my opinion, with Ben Hayes (freshman) as a great addition to our team. We are really hungry to get there and our biggest opponent this year is Willamette,” Bean said.
The Puget Sound team is also split into two sections, Puget Sound A and Puget Sound B. This split is the first appearance this season, which is apparent because they stayed as one unit during the NWC Fall Classic.
The process the team goes through to determine who plays when and where is crucial to the outcome of the tournament. There is a lot of team practice along with individual work and effort in order to prove the talent each player has.
“We usually play a 36 hole qualifier to determine the best 5 guys to send to a tournament.
Then we practice individually about 10 hours a week not including a round of 18 thrown in the week.
We also play a practice round at the venue we are playing a day before the 36 hole tournament starts. We play a lot of mini-competitions within the team to keep people working hard,” Bean said.
This strategic process the team takes to ensure that they are continuously improving has been working well for the team as a whole, but also to each player individually. Throughout his years here, Bean has had breakthrough moments that prove why he consistently ranks highly at invitational.
“This fall I broke a school record shooting 67 at Manito CC at the Whitworth Invitational. My sophomore year I won the PLU Invitational at Chambers Bay.
And this last year I finished 3rd individually in the conference behind Connor Kukula (Willamette) and Adam Ruben (Linfield),” Bean said.
Not only does the team work together on the course and try to improve the team’s golf skills, but they are able to push each other to be the best and are a strong support system for one another.
Although the spring season is just beginning, the team has already made it a goal for them to make it to nationals.
As the golf team grows throughout the season, the Loggers hope to continue to improve and get the rankings they deserve.
While they do not have a home invitational this season, continue to support the Loggers’ golf team as they try to make it to NWC Championships.