The University of South Dakota men’s golf team heads to the Summit League Conference Tournament this weekend in Lompoc, Calif., but the Coyote golfers are approaching this tournament as they have approached all tournaments this season.
“We try to keep the same practice and preparation as we do for any tournament,” said head coach Nick Hovden. “If we put too much attention or too much stress about the conference tournament there’s a chance we might not play our best.”
Hovden’s message of approaching the conference tournament like any other tournament has resonated with his players from senior Sam Matthew to first-year Cole Peterson.
Matthew is playing in his final conference tournament as a member of the Coyote golf team and said the key for the team’s success is to keep things simple and not let the moment dictate how each player performs.
“We have to play our game,” Matthew said. “Stay consistent and patient. Play the round shot by shot, and one round at a time. Can’t think about the big picture too much.”
Peterson echoed Matthew’s thoughts on how each member is approaching the tournament. As a first-year, he said Hovden and the rest of the team have reinforced the idea of only worrying about their own game.
“They’ve told me to worry about my game and my game only,” Peterson said. “Don’t worry about the tournament itself, and just play golf.”
Joining Matthew and Peterson for the Coyotes are junior Jordan Rykal, sophomore Cody Seal and first-year Matt Swanson.
USD will begin tournament play on Friday in Lompoc, Calif. and are hoping to challenge favorite Denver for the conference title.
“We know Denver is the best team in the conference,” Swanson said. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t go out there and give them a run for their money.”
(File photo / The Volante)