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Griffons are up and down; settle for 10th place

The Griffon Men’s Golf team got an extended weekend while playing in the Broncho Invitational. The Griffons played two polar opposite days. but settled with a 10th place finish.  The tournament of the best midwest Division II golf programs teed off at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning. The drive to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was a little further than their female counterparts trip to the St. Joseph Country Club.

Day one was a rocky go for the Griffons, as the team fell to 13th on the leaderboards. A bright spot for the team was freshmen Jacob Rudosky who lead Missouri Western, shooting a 75 on the 72-par course. That 75 tied him for 28th individually overall. Junior Ryan Hand was close behind with a 77 for the day. Coach Greg Dillon pointed out that the conditions were less than ideal with up to 16 mph wind gusts affecting the flight path of the golf balls. On day one, the home team would claim the top of the leader boards; the University of Central Oklahoma held a five-shot lead over second place University of Central Missouri and eight shots over third place Missouri Southern State University. UCO was lead by Sophomore Ryan Purser who shot an outstanding 68 in round one.

Day two proved to be a day of redemption for Missouri Western. Three out of the five golfers lowered their score from day one. Senior Scott Sheldon was the biggest mover as he picked up his game and lost six strokes in day two. He went from shooting 81 in day one to 75 in day two.

“Overall, it was a disappointing week both for myself and the team. We didn’t play well on the first day which put us in a bad position. We played much better the second day, but we need to start bringing our game both days,” Sheldon said.

Other notable improvements were Corey Knight, who dropped from a 79 day one to a 76 day two and Hand who dropped from a 79 day one to a 77 day two. In day two of the Broncho Invitational, the Griffons posted the second best score which helped them jump three positions to finish tenth overall, but were only one stroke away from tying for the seventh position. The Griffons 306 on day two was only bested by Southern Nazarene University’s 304. In other stats, Rudosky finished tied for fourth in individual birdies in the tournament.

“There were a lot of positives on day two and we beat a lot of top teams. This team is very close to getting over the hump, and if everyone could pick up one shot we would be getting those top five finishes,” Dillon said.

The men’s golf team is still a very young team, but made huge strides with their resilient day two performance. They are in action again and look to turn the corner April 6 in Mountain Home, Arkansas, for a Henderson State University hosted tournament.  

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