Golfers struggle, finish last

The results for the Bradley men’s golf team weren’t the same prime results the team has become accustomed to this season. After finishing first in four of its tournaments this season and in the top three in all but two events, the men’s team finished in dead last this weekend at the Ryman Hospitality Intercollegiate.

With a 14th place finish, head coach Jeff Roche said it wasn’t necessarily the play on the course that held the team back.

“We hit the ball really well – we just didn’t score,” Roche said. “Most of it was probably between the ears and trying too hard. So far, we’re kind of seeing that trend with the team and that we tend to over-try instead of just doing what we’re capable of doing, which really is plenty good.”

Junior Ethan Brue took the top individual spot for the Braves, tying for 40th at 233. Sophomore Michael Mounce finished five shots back of Brue with a 238, which placed him in a tie for 57th. Sophomore Drake Bushong snapped his 29 consecutive sub-80 rounds during the first day and shot a 77 during the final round to finish 61st at 239.

Though the team fell short this weekend, Roche said he believes there were some positives for his men to take away from the past few weeks as things they should be focusing on.

“Even going back to Indiana the week before and this one, there are some top-100 teams we’re playing,” Roche said. “I think it’s allowed our guys to see that from tee to green, we’re capable of competing … Right now, we just have to concentrate on who we are.”

The men’s team will now look to put this past week behind them and will turn its attention to the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championship on April 24 and 25 at Cog Hill in Lemont.

The MVC Championship will be held at the always-difficult Dubsdread Golf Course, but Roche believes this past weekend’s event will help his team as it attempts to come away with an MVC title.

“I think one of things we can take is that the golf course that we just played, while it may not be similar to Dubsdread, [is that] it is mentally tough,” Roche said. “You have to just understand every shot matters, and you always have to be putting yourself in position. And sometimes you’ve got to look at minimizing whatever damages that can come up.”