After placing sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship a season ago, the
Bradley men’s golf team is set to begin the 2021-22 campaign with nearly all of its core intact.
One of the returning golfers is junior Josh Kirkham, who highlighted the importance of avoiding roster turnover.
“I think there’s a lot of experience out there that can help us and give us a competitive edge
throughout the beginning of the season,” Kirkham said.
Alex Ciaramitaro was the only Brave that departed the roster after graduating in the spring, but his loss is significant. Ciaramitaro was Bradley’s best golfer from a statistical standpoint last season, registering a 74.93 stroke average over 14 rounds.
Filling the void left by Ciaramitaro is Aaeri Krishnan, a graduate student from Malaysia, who completed a four year golf career with Jacksonville University. Krishnan sported a 73.67 stroke average for Jacksonville last season, and head coach Jeff Roche exuded confidence when discussing the seasoned veteran’s potential contributions to the team.
“I really think by the end of the season, or even sometime this semester, he’s going to step in
and be one of the best players, and so I think it’s pretty exciting to have him here,” Roche said.
Krishnan’s debut won’t come in the season opener, though, as he was unable to travel from his home country of Malaysia to practice with the team due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Kirkham noted that even though Krishnan will not be in the lineup, at least temporarily, he “could provide some insight” to accelerate the development of other golfers.
Joining Kirkham and Krishnan are juniors Nick Armbrust, Roy Radke and John Stillman, along
with senior Jalen Hodges and sophomore Brady Kreiter. The seven Braves will ultimately strive to win an MVC Championship. Roche said that the feat can be achieved by “staying patient and taking care of our business.”
“If we play like we’re capable of and we just stay in the moment, we’re going to be pretty good,” Roche said.
The most noteworthy fact is that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the men’s golf team
will be able to participate year-round for the first time since the 2018-19 season. The Braves’ first test of the full season will come at the Hoosier Collegiate Invitational on Sept. 5 and 6.
Among the participants in the tournament are Illinois, who ranks 10th in the nation, according to the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll. The Illini are among several Big Ten teams at the tournament, which also includes Illinois State and Loyola-Chicago.
“I’m going to be looking, from our standpoint, how we handle just taking one shot at a time,” Roche said. “As opposed to getting caught up in who we’re playing against.”