Emma Esteb – Staff Writer
This past weekend the Gustavus men’s golf team traveled to Sartell, MN, for the Saint John’s Fall Invite. The Gusties finished second out of 12 teams, behind host, Saint John’s University. The team ended a two-day total of 295-296-591 (+15). “We all just had a lot of fun this past weekend and there was a lot of positive energy. I feel like that was really good for us this weekend,” Sophomore Teddy Kaste said.
Senior Wyatt Wasko led the Gusties with a fourth place finish with a total of 73-72-145 (+1). His consistency played a big role this weekend as Wasko had 16 consecutive pars. Wasko has been leading the team and owes it to his newfound mindset. “For me it’s just more mental than anything, and that’s a lot of people for golf because you’re out there alone for four hours. Knowing that you’re going to make mistakes and being able to not get down on yourself has been something I’ve been working on a lot and it has really helped me,” Wasko said .
First-year Chris Gutuza finished seventh with Senior Sam Skaar close behind in 10th place. Gutuza ended with a 73-74-147 and Skaar finished with a 74-75-149. “I think everyone on the team had a really decent game. It was the first week where I’ve been here at least, out of the first three tournaments where everyone played relatively well both days,” Gutuza said. Kaste rounded out the top four for the Gusties, tying for 14th with a score of 75-75-150. “For me what went well was just my golf game in general, I played pretty well so I was really happy with that,” Kaste said.
The Gusties really came together this weekend and worked as a team. “We’d been somewhat struggling on the course the entire year but last weekend we found a way to come together. When things got bad, we knew that good things were around the corner. We made a lot of birdies after we made boogies or doubles which is a really good stepping stone for us,” Skaar said.
With this positive step forward, the Gusties are looking forward to being able to lean on each other and really emphasize the team aspect of golf. “With the team being more comfortable and knowing that I don’t have a ton of pressure to make a bunch of birdies makes it easier to not get down on myself,” Skaar said. As golf is such a mental sport, the Gusties have learned to be mentally tough in order to be successful on the course. “I’ve been getting more comfortable with knowing that I am going to make mistakes and it’s not all on me for the team since we do have a different line-up this year and so much depth on our team,” Wasko said.
With a more diverse and young team, the Gusties are continuing to find their footing as they are switching up the line-up each tournament. This is different from past years as there are usually consistent individuals in the line-up for each tournament. With that, the Gusties are able to see a diverse range of players and many team members are given the opportunity to play and show their skills on the course.
This year all of the boys have really good chemistry and bonds even though golf is commonly considered an individual sport. “We are all really good friends and we are all really close both on and off the golf course, where some teams I’ve been on in the past you just go and golf together and then it’s done,” Kaste said. The closeness of the team has really shown throughout their tournaments this season and continues to play into the success of the team.
The Gusties are looking forward to the MIAC tournament in two weeks and finishing out the fall season in Destin, Florida, for one of their largest tournaments of the season. “This is my first experience playing on a proper golf team, I get to play in a lot of tournaments against a lot of good players and I’m looking forward to the team experience,” Gutuza said. With this turning point for the team, the Gusties are looking forward to hosting the Twin Cities Classic next Saturday through Monday.