Hannah R. Miller, Staff Writer

Junior Nathan Sutherland tees off on April 4. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO )

The RedHawk golf team got off to a rough start in their tournament this past weekend in Charlotte, NC. The team finished the competition in seventh place after the three rounds.

Head coach Casey Lubahn was not happy with the team’s performance.

“We don’t feel good about it,” Lubahn said. “We had some good things, but we just have to have more depth through the lineup.”

Junior golfer Nathan Sutherland would have liked to see better play this weekend.

“We didn’t play as well as we’re capable of, and we have some things to work on here,” Sutherland said. “We were disappointed.”

After the first round, the ‘Hawks found themselves in eighth place, 13 strokes back from the leader, Mercer University, with a score of 294.

With a better second round, the RedHawks gained some ground, shooting a 286. Miami tied for the fourth best score in the round, helping them out of the hole from the first round.

“I thought the second round was the highlight because we didn’t execute as well as I thought we could and we still shot a good round,” Lubahn said. “It’s evident it’s in there, but we’re executing about half the time now, and we need to keep moving that percentage up.”

In the third round, the ‘Hawks shot a 303 as a team, leaving them in seventh place out of 13 teams in the weekend’s competition. Their score was the second highest out of all the teams for the third round — a disappointing finish for the RedHawks.

The players struggled with their shots off the tee, and the short putts were less than desirable.

“Our biggest weakness is getting the ball in play off the tee, and I think we’ll be working a lot on short putting in the next week to get ready (for the next tournament),” Sutherland said.

Even though the play from the weekend left a lot of room for improvement, the players faced the tournament with good attitudes throughout. In addition, there were some good holes from each player.

“We made a lot of birdies, especially the guys who played well, so that’s always a plus,” Lubahn said.

Lubahn was particularly impressed by the play of Sutherland and freshman golfer Brett Tomfohrde.

“Nathan was our rock once again,” Lubahn said. “And Brett played in only his second event, and getting a top 20 finish is phenomenal for a young guy. It’s great to come out and perform that well over three rounds.”

As they move forward with the season, the RedHawks are expecting to see more consistency from their players and solid play throughout the roster.

“We need four scores and we haven’t had four scores for a while,” Sutherland said. “It seems like every round we have to take a score in the high 70s or low 80s. I don’t know how we’re going to get there but we need to get four scores.”

Lubahn noted this inconsistency might be deeper than just physical inability.

“This is gut check time, and we didn’t pass the first test,” Lubahn said. “We were impatient, so more than physical things, we need to get a little stronger mentally.”

The golf team is back in action next weekend at the University of Kentucky Bluegrass Invitational in Lexington.

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