The men’s golf team traveled to Goodyear, Ariz. to compete in the Snowman Getaway tournament on Feb. 24 and 25. The team finished 12th overall in the first competition of the season.
Illinois State and Air Force tied for the number one spot, both shooting 15 under par. The tournament was filled with numerous schools known for their athletic programs, including the University of Indiana and Gonzaga. Tech outperformed the two other OVC teams that participated in the Snowman Getaway, Murray State and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Lee Whitehead led Tech, shooting an impressive 65 in his second round and finishing two strokes under par for the two-day tournament. Whitehead’s performance was good enough to land him the 12th best individual score out of 100 total participants.
This year marked the first time Tech had competed in the tournament, which is designed to allow cold-weather schools to get a head start on their golf season by traveling west. The men’s team, who was picked to finish fourth in the OVC preseason coaches’ poll, was able to gain valuable experience against talented opponents.
“When you play good in cold weather like we have had for the past month, and then you go somewhere with 80 degree weather, you can’t help but play better,” said Mason Griffin, redshirt junior from Oak Ridge. “That’s just how it is.”
Griffin struggled early, but was able to finish strong, shooting a 77 in his final round.
“Although the overall team finish is not what we hoped for, I was very excited to see some low scores from several players such as Lee Whitehead and Adam Cunningham,” said Coach Brown. “We’re looking forward to getting back to practice for our next tournament.”
The golf season is just getting started and the men’s team is set to compete in the Grover Page Classic during Spring Break, which is held in Jackson, Tenn. The women’s team starts its season by traveling to South Carolina and playing a tournament on Kiawah Island. Shortly after, the ladies will travel to Las Vegas to participate in the Bison Invitational, hosted by Bucknell University.