Maverick golf teams open seasons on high notes

Both Minnesota State golf teams teed off across the Midwest early this week, with one Maverick team coming home with a first-place finish.

Women’s golf traveled north to Bemidji, competing in the Tracy Lane Memorial on Monday and Tuesday. The final tournament results finished with five Mavericks in the top-15 golfers, which is a clue as to how MNSU was able to lock up the win in their season debut. Sophomore Maddy Messin is this week’s top performer for the Mavs, shooting two rounds with the same score of 80 in the Bemidji tournament.

Messin finished in a tie for seventh place among individual golfers, putting her 11 strokes behind the leader after both rounds.

The Tracy Lane Memorial was played at the Bemidji Town and Country Club, a par-72 course with a total distance of 5,904 yards over 18 holes. Minnesota State as a team won the first tournament of the season by finishing with a score three strokes closer to par than the second-place teams Minot State and Winona State, which were tied at 72-over-par. Of the 57 individual participants amongst the nine teams competing, Minnesota State had every golfer finish in the top half of the leaderboard. Junior Nattiya Somboonsup tied for 17th in the contest.

This is the Mavericks’ second consecutive win at the Tracy Lane Memorial, with an identical total score to last years’ of 645. The competition was stiffer at this year’s showing as the Mavs highest individual finish was seventh place as opposed to last year when first and second place were both occupied by MNSU golfers. The repeat performance this year is all the more impressive because of the additional 867 yards added onto the length of the course in comparison to last year’s tournament.

Men’s golf had a slightly longer trip than the women’s team as they went to Warrensburg, Missouri for “The MULE” at Mules National Golf Club. Central Missouri plays host for “The MULE” and had two teams participate.

MNSU finished in ninth place of the 20 teams involved in the regional tournament. Senior Kelton Schmitz led the way for the Mavericks men’s team, tied for the 20th-best individual performance. Schmitz put up scores of 72, 74 and 72. Several other golfers for the Mavs had impressive rounds as well. Junior Matt Bennett finished his final round with a score of 68, which is two-under-par on the 6,400-yard par 70 course. Bennett’s 68-round was matched by only five other golfers out of the 103 that were competing and was only beaten by Henderson State’s Nick Shapiro, who shot a tournament-best 67 in his opening round.

The Mavericks men finish with the sixth-most pars in the tournament with 154 and the seventh-most birdies with 33 as a team. Averaging 5.02 on par-five holes, the Mavs captured the second-best performance in that category, falling behind Central Oklahoma who was essentially out of reach with an average of 4.88 and a total of seven under-par on those holes for the tournament. The men’s team finished with a solid grouping on the leaderboard, finishing no worse than tied for 57th of 103. Next for the Mavericks is the NSU Men’s Classic held in Muskogee, Oklahoma. That tournament begins on Monday, Sept. 18 and continues into Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Meanwhile, the back-to-back Tracy Lane Memorial champion women’s team looks to improve or repeat their performance when they head over to Winona this weekend for the Winona State Invitational, with golfers teeing off at 9 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 16.

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