Laffen swings to first at snowy course

Teeing off Monday at the NSIC Preview in Blue Spring Missouri, the Mavs started with a disadvantage.

At 9 a.m. the course was experiencing mild conditions of 5-10 mph winds. The first group was already through nine holes when the Mavericks finally got to hit the links two hours later. By 11 a.m. when senior Ben Laffen tee’d off, winds were hitting speeds of 20 and 30 mph. 

Tuesday, the course was at freezing temperatures and the men’s golf team battled on. With snow hitting the fairways and temperatures of 31 degrees with a windchill of 21, the Mavericks pulled off a fifth-place finish and Laffen finished first overall individually. Sophomore Max Brud joined Laffen on the podium in third place.

“I have been around this sport for a long time and I can say that it is the coldest golf course I have ever stepped foot on,” head coach Alex Schmitz said. 

Despite them taking fifth place it brings a sense of confidence to the team. In the freezing conditions players wear multiple layers which can affect every swing differently. In three weeks time, the team will return back to Adams Pointe Golf Course for the NSIC Championship. If better conditions arise when they return, the team is confident that they can perform even better. 

“We just had extra hoops we needed to jump through,” Schmitz said. “It will be really encouraging taking off those jackets, gloves and hand warmers. It gives us something to look forward to when we return back to sunny skies.” 

Golf is a mental game and to battle 36 holes in two days of frigid temperatures is a testament to their game. The players knew they had nowhere to go besides reaching hole 18 so they battled on. Instead of whining, they laughed off the temperatures and embraced what was given to them. This led Laffen and Brud to take the top spots of the tournament. 

On Monday, Brud was in first place at -5 and Laffen was fighting to keep with his pace. On Tuesday, Brud and Missouri Westerns Marius Dosiere were tied for first with Laffen right on their heels. 

“I was gunning for them,” Laffen said. 

Laffen needed to make two birdies in a row on hole 17 and 18 to force a three-way playoff. 

He did just that. 

He recorded a birdie on 17 and on 18 he hit a 30 foot putt off of the green which saved his day. In the playoff, all three recorded a par on the par-five tenth hole and Laffen won the playoff with his birdie on the par-three 17th. Dosiere finished second as he recorded the best round of the day. 

“In prior years I never played how I liked at this course,” Laffen said. “This year I decided to heck with it and to play my best golf. It felt really good winning the event.” 

Laffen shot a 69, finishing the day with six birdies. Over the event he carded a 72-69—141. His performance won him NSIC Golfer of the Week.

Brud shot a 67-74—141 and was tied for second in par-five scoring with a 4.50 and third in par-four scoring with a 3.95.  Additionally, his eight birdies were tied for second in the event. As a team the Mavericks shot a 300-298—598.

Write to Luke Jackson at

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