First-year shines at invitational

The men’s golf team continued its shortened spring campaign this past weekend at the Luther Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City.

The one-round tournament featured six teams from the IIAC conference, which included two teams from UD. In the one-round tournament, Loras placed third overall with a total team score of 327, nine strokes behind the second-place team from UD and 17 strokes behind the tournament champions, Wartburg.

“We played OK,” said Coach Jeremy Hawkins. “There were certainly areas where we could have improved, but we also could have done worse. With the short spring, I am simply hoping that we get better each week we play.”

First-year Jon Nugent, from Sycamore, IL, placed first among the young Duhawk squad, shooting a 5-over 77.

The 77 also tied him for fourth individually against the whole field, three strokes behind the individual champion from Wartburg who shot a 2-over 74 to take the title.

“Jon played very well. He is a very talented player and I expect him to do great things,” Hawkins said.

Finishing with the next best scores for Loras were senior Sam Herrmann and first-year Jason Beer, who posted identical rounds of 83, 11-over. These scores tied them for 13th on the overall leaderboard.

Coming in with a score of 84, one stroke behind Herrmann and Beer was another first-year, Jimmy Gallery, who tied for 18th overall. Rounding out the Duhawks’ scoring was junior James Komorowski who carded a 19-over 91.

This is the Duhawks’ third meet of the weather-shortened season. But ready or not, they will be competing in the first two rounds of the IIAC Championships this weekend.

Herrmann was the individual overall Iowa Conference champion last year and will look to defend his title over the next two weekends in the four-round tournament in his final season.

With just a week left to prepare, pending the unpredictable weather, the Duhawks have a lot to work on this week, but one thing the Duhawks have going for them is being able to compete at Finkbine for a second weekend in a row.

“We know the golf course and know what we have to do,” said Hawkins. “We just have to go out and execute. We need to avoid making a big number on a hole, play smart and minimize our mistakes.”

Along with last weekend, Loras played the IIAC Fall Invitational at Finkbine in October and finished in fifth out of eight teams. Loras looks to improve on that standing with the added experience the young team received from already playing on the course.

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