Men’s golf ends fall season with lackluster swings

Brady Hamilton, Reporter

Coach Jon Mills said he was not satisfied with his team’s performance in its last tournament of the fall season.

The men’s golf team finished seventh out of 15 teams at the three-day Williams Cup tournament.

“We didn’t really play well,” Mills said. “We could have done a better job of grinding it out and limiting mistakes because everyone was going to have mistakes on that golf course.”

KSU carded a 42-over 906 Friday through Sunday. The Flashes finished just behind Michigan State.

No. 6 North Carolina won the tournament with a 3-over 867. North Carolina Wilmington, NC State, Houston and No. 40 Louisville rounded out the top five.

“When you’re dealing with those kinds of difficult conditions like the wind and a difficult course, you have to stay very patient and enjoy the difficulty of it,” Mills said. “That was something that our guys really struggled doing as a whole.”

Senior Chris Vandette led the Flashes, finishing 14th with a 7-over 223. He scored in the 70s each day.

“He did a very good job of dealing with those conditions and just overall he played fairly solid,” Mills said. “There’s times where he would have liked to have over, but he hit the ball fairly solid.”

Sophomore Jordan Gilkison finished 20th with a 9-over 225. Freshman Ben MacLean tied for 24th with a 12-over 228.

Gilkison, last year’s MAC freshman of the year, has been the top-scoring golfer for this team in two meets this season.

In the Gopher Invitational Sept. 11-12, Gilkison tied for fourth with Vandette, swinging 6-below par. This was both men’s highest placement all season.

MacLean tied for fourth – the best finish of his collegiate career so far – at the Windon Memorial Sept. 26 to 27. He carded a 1-under 208.

Both men have placed in the top five of KSU golfers all season. “It’s a lot of great things to build from,” Mills said. “We just got to get a little bit more consistency as a team.”

Mills said his team’s problem is its “inconsistency.”

“We showed glimpses of being as good as I think we are,” Mills said. “We had tournaments where we didn’t play very well and we just struggled. It’s tough to pinpoint why that is. But our goal is to focus on the things that we did really well and build from that.”

The team’s next tournament is Feb. 13. After those few months of break are up, Mills said his golfers are “going to bear down and be ready to compete.”

“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we can’t afford those inconsistencies like we had this in the fall,” Mills said. “They need that time off to just get away from golf and be a student. But we’re also looking toward that spring schedule. The first week in February, we gotta be ready to play at a high level.”

Brady Hamilton is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].