Mavs come up short in NSIC Championship
Minnesota State Mankato men’s golf team brought home bronze in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship Sunday. The 54-hole event at Adams Pointe Golf Club in Blue Springs, Missouri, brought them third place with a final score of 900 among the five Mavericks that played.
Jack Klimek’s performance throughout the tournament was the biggest contributor to their podium finish. Klimek finished two under par which tied him in second place individually with a score of 219. Putting was his key to success.
“I’ve always taken a lot of pride in working on my short game and it certainly helped me this week,” Klimek said. “I was putting really well and really confident on the greens. With my short game clicking, it took some pressure off my iron game.
Klimek notched 11 birdies throughout the weekend which led the team. Klimek maintained a scoring average of 3.08 on par-3s while also achieving an average of 4.13 on par-4s. This can also be attributed to his previous knowledge from the NSIC Preview three weeks prior.
“One of my biggest takeaways from the conference preview was to understand where to miss around the greens and where to position myself on the greens,” Kliemek said. “If you miss the wrong spots on the golf course, you will be punished. It was my main focus coming into the conference championship to just hit as many greens as I could.”
As a team, resilience shined through. The tournament was played in 29-degree weather and 25-mile-per-hour winds.
“Saturday was one of the coldest days I’ve ever experienced,” head coach Alex Schmitz said. “Just the mental toughness and strength to go out there and try to put a good round together is, you know, really hard. But the guys did very, very well.”
Klimek also touched on resiliency throughout the tournament.
“I am proud of the way I continued to grind and keep a short memory when mistakes happened. As a team, I am proud of the way we never gave up and continued to keep our heads held high.”
Hogan Ordal shot one over par which closed his season off in ninth place among the NSIC’s best. He was able to put down four birdies in his last round. This included a streak of three straight birdies on the ninth, tenth and eleventh holes. On top of this, senior Ben Laffen finished off his career in 17th place. This included nine birdies which were the second most on the team.
The team set a goal this season to be conference champs but ultimately came up short. Although they fell short, the team saw improvement from last season which gives them a step in the right direction.
“At the end of the day, our goal was to win the NSIC Championship,” Schmitz said. “We took fifth last year and this year third. If we can continue the trend and jump up two more spots that mean a championship. Even though we didn’t win this year it was a really good season. We learned a lot this year and got a lot accomplished.”
Header Photo: Minnesota State’s golf team placed third out of ten teams at the NSIC Championship held in Blue Springs, Missouri. (Courtesy MSU Athletics)
Write to Luke Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org