Hannah R. Miller, Staff Writer

Toughness was the key for the Miami University golf team in its first place finish at the Cardinal Intercollegiate, finding its first victory of the 2010-2011 season.

After struggling at the Marshall Invitational, the RedHawks showed significant improvement Sept. 20 and 21.

Head Coach Casey Lubahn was glad to see his team get the victory.

“We played with a high level of effort and we had a belief in ourselves going into the last round,” Lubahn said. “And after being in contention and not handling it well last week, it was nice to go in relaxed and confident and close the deal.”

Senior Nathan Sutherland expressed satisfaction at the jump made from last week’s disappointing result to this week’s win.

“It was a little bit of redemption,” Sutherland said. “Last week’s final round was a good learning experience for us and I think we learned pretty quickly. It was good to play well yesterday and get the victory – it gives us confidence, we’re beginning to believe we’re a good squad.”

The RedHawks played well through the first two rounds of the Cardinal Intercollegiate, but the continued effort in the final round is what put them in contention for the win. Additionally, under par scores from four of the five teammates contributed to the team’s final seven-under-par score and three-stroke victory.

Taking from the experience of this win, the golfers look to continue their success in future tournaments. Sutherland explained the process it takes to become one of the nation’s best programs.

“I think we’re building momentum, I mean you can’t become a nationally competitive team overnight, but we’re slowly getting there,” Sutherland said.

Lubahn saw the intercollegiate as an important step for the team.

“I do think it’s another step in the building process to continue to get better and learn the skills that come with winning, especially the mindset that comes with winning and playing well every week,” Lubahn said.

Even though he is proud of his teammates, there was another reason Sutherland wanted to get the win.

“I was really happy to win one for coach,” Sutherland said. “He works so hard for us. He’s a good guy and his wife’s about to give birth, so he’s been stressed. Winning one for him made me really happy.”

The golf team is back in action Sept. 27 and 28 at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic in South Bend, Ind.