This past weekend, Men’s Golf competed against 21 midwest teams at the St. John’s University Fall Invite and showed that they are one of the top contenders in the region, placing second overall.
In this two-day event, the Gusties found themselves matched up against some top level competition, including No. 15 St. John’s, No. 22 St. Thomas, and No. 25 Eau Claire.
After the first day of competition, Assistant Coach Randy Stuckey was impressed with the team’s mentality and ability to compete with these nationally recognized teams.
“Today we talked about the great field of teams we would be playing with and that it was our turn to do something special with committed golf and sticking with the game plan,” Stuckey said. “I think if we stay committed to what our game is and follow our game plan things will take care of itself.”
At the end of day one, the Gusties were tied for first place with St. John’s, with both teams shooting a 297.
St. Thomas also had a successful day and kept the race for first interesting, finishing only one stroke behind the leading teams.
Senior Ben Hauge and Junior Max Ullan had strong performances, both recording scores of 73 and finished day one tied for fourth among all individual scores.
Sophomore Jacob Pedersen finished two strokes behind at 75, good for a 16th place individual finish that day.
On the second and final day of competition, the team improved its shot total by ten strokes, largely due to a strong performance from Pedersen.
Pedersen moved up 14 spots to claim second place out of the 120 golfers that competed after tallying six birdies in round two on the course.
He finished with an even-par score of 75-68-143 and was three strokes behind the invite’s first place finisher. His day two score of 68 is his new career low and is tied for fourth lowest round in program history.
Along with Pedersen, three other Gustie golfers finished top-eight individually.
Ullan earned a third place finish tie, going one-over-par with a score of 73-71-144. Hauge and Junior Carter Czichotzki, who played as an individual in the invite, tied for eighth with four-over scores of 73-74-147 and 75-72-147, respectively.
The team finished the invite in second place out of the 21 teams that played, shooting 297-287-584 (+12).
St. Thomas took the SJU Invite crown, finishing with a score of 298-284-582 (+10) and outshooting the Gusties by two strokes.
“The guys did an incredible job of staying steady, being committed to their shots, bringing energy to the course, and accepting the challenge of doing something special,” Stuckey said. “Our play demonstrates that we can compete with anyone because of a solid field this weekend. Having four players finish in the top ten was a great accomplishment and a special congratulations to Jacob Pedersen for finishing second. His putting was exceptional today. Next week we get another opportunity to play a very strong field.”
After a wildly successful weekend for the team against some top-level competition, the Gusties shift their focus to the Twin Cities Classic, a three-day invite that starts this Saturday and goes through Monday.
The team will be competing in Ramsey, Elk River and Bloomington, MN and has the opportunity to tune up its game on three different courses before preparing for the MIAC Championships Oct. 5.