Despite finishing near the middle of the pack, the Minnesota State Men’s Golf team saw serious improvement at The Mule Tuesday. Over the course of 54 holes, the five Maverick players combined for 874 totaling 34 strokes over par. This was good enough to place eighth out of 19 teams overall.
The improvements this week came individually and as a team. Through three rounds, Junior Jack Klimek shot 74-68-69. His progress from the first round to the third gave him a jump of 11 spots propelling him to finish fifth overall individually.
Throughout Monday, he put up six birdies shooting his personal best of 68. He also shot 16 consecutive pars or better in his second round. Tuesday saw Klimek shoot -1 due to five birdies, three of which were all in a span of five holes.
“To have a couple of scores below par is really good golfing,” Head Coach Alex Schmitz said. “Jack has a really low ball flight and in the wind that’s the preferred shot. I think that really benefited him.”
Through Klimek’s success, the team also found its stride. After Monday’s grueling 12-hour day of golf, the Mavericks were tied with nationally ranked Rodgers State University for 12th place. The Mavs found their flow Tuesday and shot the third-best on the course. The University of Central Missouri and Harding University tied with 12 shots over par while the Mavericks shot 13 over. This was good enough to surpass Rodgers State and propel them four spots giving them a top-10 finish.
“They grinded,” Schmitz said. “Staying consistent, in the present and not looking too far ahead is what helped. To know that we struggled a bit and were able to come back and compete with some of the best teams in the region is something really good to build off of.”
One improvement Schmitz hopes for is to have more than one player shoot under par. This would help them get to the top of the leaderboard.
“I think our men’s team is very solid from top to bottom but the difference would be having two players put up good scores at the same time. Just like in any other sport. If one player has 40 points you can win some games right? But if you have two guys get 40 then you’ll probably never lose. It’s the same with golf, two scores can make the difference.”
Home course advantage worked in Central Missouri’s favor as they hosted and won the tournament. The past two tournaments that the Mavs have played in saw Central Missouri on top both times. MSU won’t be seeing them for the rest of the season as they only have the NSIC Championship left. This tournament is set for April 21 and will feature 10 teams in the NSIC at Adams Pointe Golf Club.
Write to Luke Jackson at Luke.Jackson.email@example.com
Header Photo: The MSU Men’s Golf team tied for eigth place in the Central Missouri Mule Invite event held on Monday and Tuesday. (Courtesy MNSU Athletics)