While the weather has been friendly for the University of South Dakota men’s golf team, the competition has not been.
Coming off only their second tournament of the spring season the golf team took home 16 place in the South Dakota State University Jackrabbit Invitational on March 13 in Primm, Nev.
On March 26 the team will travel to Indianapolis, Ind. to compete in the Butler Spring Invitational. The Butler meet will be the first of two consecutive meets in row before a three-week break until the Summit League Championships on April 23.
Senior John Vining said the team will look to build some confidence in these next two meets back to back.
“We have these two tournaments right next to each so we can get everyone ready for the Summit League Championships at the end of April,” Vining said. “Were hoping to reach a team score around or under 300 in the Butler Invitational and hopefully build off that in the next upcoming tournaments.”
Senior Lucas Turner, who led the Coyotes with a final score of 224 in the 54-hole Jackrabbit Invitational, said the team will use these next two meets to improve, starting with the Butler Invitational.
“At the Butler Invitational, individually I’ll be looking to bring my rounds under 70,” Turner said. “As a team we will look to push each other and show ourselves that we can shoot strongly together.”
Turner said playing in the Jackrabbit invite will help the team when they return to the same course for the Summit League Championships.
“Having all seen the course already, we know we’re all-capable of doing well,” Turner said. “If we get some momentum in these next two meets we will be ready to face the rest of the Summit League in the end of April.”
The USD golf team participates in two different seasons, a fall and spring season, the spring season is usually tougher as the team cannot golf outdoors year round like other southern schools.
Vining said the difference in playing year round is mostly seen on the putting green.
“Most of schools we compete against get to play outside more than we do which makes it tough,” Vining said.
Junior Marc Gubbels also said the spring season is more challenging than the fall.
“During the fall season we have already played all summer long,” Gubbels said. “It’s a lot different starting back up in the spring after the winter.”
Turner said the team has now moved from hitting balls in the DakotaDome to completely outside practices.
“We are playing outside full time now so there can’t be anymore excuses,” Turner said. “We need to just get out there and starting building off strong rounds.”
The team will finish up the Butler Invitational on March 27 and next compete in Macomb, Ill. in the Western Illinois Beu Mussatto on April 2.