Justin Maskulinski, Senior Staff Writer

The Miami University golf team played in its second tournament of the spring in Bluffton, S.C., as the RedHawks finished seventh out of nine teams in the Colleton River Collegiate.

The ‘Hawks began the tournament Sunday with a team round of 296, which put them in third place behind Kennesaw State University and Winthrop University.

Entering the tournament, Kennesaw State was ranked 40th in the nation.

Head coach Zac Zedrick said he was satisfied with the RedHawks’ start.

“We really hadn’t played any golf in a few weeks, other than what we do for practice every day,” Zedrick said. “It’s a part of the learning process. [Colleton] was kind of a reverse of what we had been doing, which was slow start and strong finishes.”

The ‘Hawks were led by sophomore Jack Sparling in the first round, as he shot 73 to put himself 1-over-par and tied for sixth place overall.

Senior Mark MacDonald and junior Scott Cahill both shot 2-over-par (74) in the first round and were tied for 12th in the 54-man field.

Freshman Jared Hammons saw his first action of the spring in Bluffton, and his first round was a 75, good for 3-over-par and a tie for 19th place.

Rounding out the RedHawks first round was senior Austin Kelly, who shot 6-over-par (78), and was tied for 37th.

MacDonald led the squad during the second round, matching his first round 74. Sparling shot a 75, and he and MacDonald were tied for 16th after two rounds.

Only one golfer for Miami was able to improve their score in the second round, as the ‘Hawks fell to sixth in the nine team field.

They played the third and final round Monday, and the ‘Hawks fell to seventh place when it was all over.

The RedHawks were led by MacDonald in the third round as well, and he finished tied for 13th overall. MacDonald’s third round was a 3-over-par 75, and he finished 7-over-par for the tournament.

“I was staying positive throughout the whole tournament,” MacDonald said. “Especially [Monday] when it was getting pretty windy during the last nine holes, I think [staying positive] helped out quite a bit.”

Sparling (t-27th), Cahill (t-30th), Kelly (t-33rd), and Hammons (t-41st) rounded out the ‘Hawks lineup.

Freshman Greg Conrad, who was playing as an individual, finished tied for 53rd.

The ‘Hawks have had limited practicing ability because of the blistery winter, and Zedrick said the lack of practice plays a role early in the year for the RedHawks.

“It is like doing a bunch of individual work in basketball, and then expecting a team to go out and perform in game situations,” Zedrick said. “At this point, even if we’re not outside, I don’t see it as part of the equation; we just need to be ready to go.

The RedHawks will return to action March 16th and 17th in Naples, Fla. for the Talis Park Challenge.

MacDonald said the ‘Hawks need to maintain an optimistic disposition until the weather breaks.

“We’ve got to stay as positive as we can,” MacDonald said. “I think it’s mainly just a mental attitude you have to have, and try to stay as positive as you can. It’s difficult to prepare for our sport when we can’t actually play it, but that’s just the way it goes when you live up north.”