By Steven Eggert
The golf team tees it up and lets it fly as it heads to Trump National Golf Club to participate in the Penn Quaker Invitational on Monday. The Broncs will look to improve on their performance at the LaSalle Invitational, where the team finished in a tie for eighth place.
The Broncs are led on the links by freshman Cole Clark and sophomore James Buttermark. Clark tied for 20th place with a total score of 163 while Buttermark tied for 25th with a final round total of 165.
Buttermark said that putting and controlling his shots provide a huge challenge.
“The greens were extremely firm and fast, and it was tough to hold shots,” Buttermark said. “The conditions were pretty tough. Sunday was cloudy and pretty cool outside and Monday was brutal because it was blowing about 45 mph. When you add that type of wind to the firmness of the greens it is nearly impossible to shoot a low score.”
Clark managed to grind out a top 20 finish despite the difficulty.
“The conditions for the weekend were very tough,” Clark said. “Day one was cold and wet and day two was possibly the worst weather I have ever played a tournament in. Nonetheless, the conditions are the same for everyone so keeping that mind I just stayed out of trouble.”
Next week the Broncs head to Trump National Golf Club. To get to know the course, Buttermark and the other golfers will play a practice round.
“We will look and see where the trouble is around the course and how the greens are. We will try to really focus on what we need to do this week to get us ready to compete and win this tournament,” Buttermark said.
The Broncs finished in a tie for eighth out of a 12-team pool and was one of the better finishes for the Broncs this entire season.
Despite the struggles of the team, Clark has become one of the team’s best golfers. He is second on the team with a 79.6 average score per eighteen holes. He feels he has changed a lot since the start of the year because of his continued hard work.
“It’s been a good year so far for me and I hope that I can keep it up,” Clark said. “Being consistent and staying in control has been the key for me. I feel like a completely different golfer from the fall season thanks to the training I did in the off-season. Having grown out of my high school physique, golf is now a different game to me. Not to say golf is ever an easy game but its much less stressful when I can hit a wedge into a par-4 instead of [a] high iron or wood every time.”
Buttermark feels that the struggles for the Broncs have come from making too many mistakes on the course and trying to force themselves out of them.
“I think our main problem that we have had is that we try to force certain situations instead of having them come to us,” he said. “When we do force [situations], it causes us to make mistakes and when we make those mistakes we try to [recover] in one shot, which then leads to more mistakes. I think if we just play within ourselves next week and for the rest of the season we should perform well.”