On Sunday, the men’s golf team hosted the MWAC Conference Tournament at the Lincoln Elks Country Club. The 36-hole event was played in a modified Ryder Cup stroke play format. Three 2-man teams from each conference team (ICC, Parkland, Lewis & Clark, and Lincoln) competed for the team and individual crown.
The first nine holes were played as a scramble format, followed by nine holes of alternate shot. After a quick lunch break between rounds, the men teed it up for another 18 holes. The first nine holes of the second round was played best ball while the final round was individual scores.
To determine the individual All-Conference team, the scores from each player’s second round front and back nine were combined with the lowest five scores, including ties, earning All-Conference honors.
The team conference winner was determined by taking two of the three lowest nine hole scores from each of the first three nine-hole competitions and adding it to four of the six lowest individual scores from the final 9-hole scores.
Although all of that sounds confusing, the format works out very well and all of the players enjoy playing something a bit different than all other stroke play tournaments.
The Lynx played very well but couldn’t catch ICC as the Cougars took the team title shooting 341, just four shots better than Parkland’s 345. Lincoln shot 357 followed by Lewis & Clark 386. The Cougars shot two rounds of 7-under 28/28 (14-under) in the scramble format, 1-under 35/36 in alternate shot, 3-under 33/34 in best ball, and 3-over 33/34/40/40 in the individual format.
The Lynx shot 10-under 29/31 in scramble, 4-over 36/40 in alternate shot, 3-under 33/34 in best ball, and 10-over 36/36/40/42 in the individual format. Two-man teams consisted of Hunter Bettis (Bluffs, IL) & Hunter Leach (Glasford, IL), Josh Matthews (Delavan, IL) & Jack White (Lincoln, IL), and Cody Curry (Mason City, IL) & Brandon Savage (Rochester, IL).
Individually, Lincoln was able to take two of the five All-Conference spots led by Freshman Jack White’s 1-over-par 72 to earn him a T-3rd place finish. Sophomore Hunter Bettis fired a 2-over-par 73 and a 5th place finish. Parkland’s Andreas Nielson was medalist with a blistering 4-under-par 67.
“Just 3 or 4 bad holes by a guy or 2 and we wouldn’t been right there,” said head coach Jeff Nelson. “But, that’s the way golf is sometimes and we have to find a way to eliminate that from our rounds. We’re getting very close to breaking through. We’ve got three guys very capable of scoring in the low 70’s and have done so at least once in a competitive round at one time or another this Fall. If we can get them all at the same time, we’ll break that 300 barrier we’ve been shooting for. Our other five guys have the ability to score in the upper 70’s if they can stay away from those 1 or 2 disaster holes on each side. I’d love to see it next weekend at the Hopkins Collegiate Classic in Decatur.”
Next up for the Lynx will be the 36-hole, 2-day Hopkins Collegiate Classic at the Country Club of Decatur. Friday’s round begins at 1:00pm while Saturday’s round begins at 9:00am. Lincoln College alum Greg Hopkins will be the keynote speaker at the players’ dinner after Friday’s round.
“This event will be awesome for our men to play in,” Nelson added. “I’m excited for our guys to get a chance to listen to Greg Hopkins and his great successes after college in the golfing industry as the CEO of Cleveland Golf and most recently the owner and CEO of Hopkins Golf. I’m very much looking forward to meeting him.”
Lincoln College men’s golf program would also like to thank the following people for helping make the MWAC Championship a great event: Elks club pro Jeff Peterson and his staff members Nick Adcock, Blake Byrge, Blake Jones, all of the grounds crew and golf course maintenance staff, Joel Beard and his staff at Whiskers Grill, and Derek Young for helping mark our final group for both rounds. We appreciate all of their help.