Volume 95, Issue 18
Tuesday, October 2, 2001
Swinging in Stratford
Golf team has solid showing
By Dave Martin
Last Friday, the Western mens' golf team continued working towards their goal of an OUA championship by competing in the Laurier Invitational at the Stratford Golf and Country Club.
Western's team of Russ Armstrong (who shot a 74 for the day), Eric Bradley (75), Luke McGoey (75), Mark Baines (77) and Ryan Pope (82) were good enough for third place with their top four total of 301, which certainly pleased head coach Jim Waite.
"I thought the team played extremely well and [I] was very happy with the results. We were a shot ahead waiting for the last group to come in, making it very tight and exciting to see," Waite said.
No one on the team had played the course before, but coach Waite felt the conditions helped a bit.
"Stratford's not a long course, but is extremely tight. It was in really good shape and the weather wasn't a factor, allowing for the low scores all-around," Waite said.
Having only three veterans returning from last year, Waite and his coaching staff are basically continuing try-outs through the first three or four tournaments to see what rookies will solidify the final two spots.
"We're keeping things open for the first bit to see how the rookies respond in the real competitions. Right now, we're rotating guys through each tournament but even still, as a team, we are starting to come together," Waite said.
Returning team member Russ Armstrong felt that, given a bit of time, the rookies will start to put up some good scores.
"Despite only having three guys coming back from last year, we had a really strong group of rookies that stepped-up at tryouts. I think as they get a bit more experience they'll start to come through to fully complete our team," Armstrong said.
Waite had similar feelings as to the potential of the team, which he says is a step above previous years.
"For the last couple seasons, we've been just one player short of having a team that could go all the way. This year we've got five guys that can go out with the possibility of shooting par on any given day and will pretty much be able to hang around the 75-76 range consistently. As a team, the ability to avoid 80s heading into OUAs is what we're aiming for," Waite said.
Waite said he is very optimistic about this year's team. "I think we've got an excellent shot to win it all and I'm almost convinced that we'll come home [from OUAs] with a medal."
Most of the team the team travelled to Guelph to play a more familiar Cutten Club on Monday.
Bradley said if the team could pull off another third place finish it would be a great achievement.
"We're going to have a different group of guys than Friday, but it will give them a good opportunity to get some experience. Mark [Baines] played a great round in his first event of the season and hopefully we can get some more low scores like that from all the guys. A top three finish would be awesome for us," Bradley said.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001