The ORU men’s golf team will compete in the Summit League Championship on May 1-3 at the La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc, California.
The team played its final regular season tournament last Monday and Tuesday, hosting the ORU shootout at Forest Ridge Golf Course.
The Golden Eagles had two teams competing in the tournament. The primary ORU team finished third, and the ORU Gold team finished 12th.
Play was suspended because of rain on Monday, shortening the tournament to two rounds. The rain made course conditions difficult for the golfers.
“I’m not sure I’ve played in conditions quite like that where you couldn’t even make a full swing,” senior Scott Newell said. “You’re just trying to hang on to the club and grind it out, keep the ball in play as best you can. You just have to stay mentally tough and know everyone is playing in it.”
Newell finished fourth overall at three over par, leading the Golden Eagles with his third top five of the season.
Anthony Skirk was the top finisher for the Gold team with an eighth place finish at six over. Senior Parker Dolezal finished 11th at seven over par.
The Golden Eagles are looking to continue the momentum from the ORU shootout at the Summit League Championship.
“We’ve had flashes of really, really, good play throughout the year, but we haven’t been able to sustain it,” Dolezal said. “If we can get that going and play well the first couple days, I think we definitely have the ability to close it out down the stretch.”
The team has shown they can close tournaments with their first place finish at the SIUE Invitational in September. Early round success will put the Golden Eagles in a position to win the title on the final day.
“If we get off to a good start we should be right there hopefully,” Dolezal said. “We’ve talked about being nervous down the last nine holes of the championship knowing that we’re right there in position, hopefully we have that feeling.”
The focus for ORU will be winning the Summit title as a team. Newell and Dolezal both have chances to win the Summit individual title as well.
“It’s going to have to be the best tournament I’ve played all year,” Newell said. “I’ve had a couple under par but I would need to play better than I had in those. I’m going to need three scores under par rather than just two. If I play my ‘A-game’ for all three rounds, I definitely think I can win it.”