The men’s golf team put their fall season to bed, competing in three tournaments in the last 11 days, including hosting their sole autumn Loras Fall Invite.
The Loras Fall Invite, hosted at the Duhawks’ home course Thunder Hills in Galena, IL, the weekend of Sept. 24 and 25, was the only home competition for the men this fall and featured the entire Duhawk roster, with senior Peter Leinenweber leading the way.
“Peter had three really solid tournaments,” said golf coach Gabe Miller. “It started with the Fall Invite where he led our top team both days of the invite … From the beginning of the year, the guys have looked to him and he has a lot of high expectations on himself. When he’s confident and feeling good, he can play with the best of them.”
The Duhawks took first place at the Invite with a combined final score of 613; Knox College was the runner-up a final of 618. Leinenweber and first-year Jacob Peiser, as the top finishers for Loras, claimed the fifth finisher spot with sophomore Peter Hutton and junior Dylan Lange occupying the sixth and seventh spots, respectively.
“It was a little bit of a home course advantage because we get to practice there and play there (at Thunder Hills), and we know the ins and outs of the course, so that helped with some course management throughout the tournament,” said Miller. “But you still have to go out and play with confidence and hit the ball.”
The men then traveled to Oak Brook, IL, for the Elmhurst Invite on Thursday, Sept. 28, rostering Leinenweber, junior Will Arnt, and sophomores Hutton, Bo Burgmeier and Jake Graber. The men finished fourth of 10 teams despite high temperatures, with a final combined score of 307.
“From day one, those five have been our top five guys scoring-wise. They don’t always play their best, but the way we score is you take four guys of the five and they’ve always continually put up a consistent number that’s made us competitive,” said Miller.
Leinenweber paved the way for Duhawk success, claiming first place and top honors as his own, carding five birdies and tying his career-best score of 73, followed by Arnt carding five birdies of his own, four of which on the back nine, where he shot 35. Birdies seemed to be the strong suit of the Duhawks, with four of the five Loras golfers posting them on the eighth hole, a par-four, and the 16th hole, a par-five.
“It shows that we’re fourth place, but we shot one of our lower rounds of the year there,” said Miller. “I think that it showed the work that we’d put in over the last four, five weeks.”
The Duhawks then finished out their fall season this past Sunday and Monday, Oct. 1 and 2, with the MSOE Invite in Lake Geneva, WI, where they finished second of the 14 competing teams. Graber and Arnt claimed top 10 spots, resting at seventh and 10th respectively.
“From day one, every tournament in the fall is preparing us for the spring season,” said Miller. “We don’t want to peak too early, but we also don’t want to be unprepared. So we’re using the tournaments, the qualifying rounds, and practices to find out which five guys will be our conference roster. Giving guys the opportunity to play in different tournaments I think will set us up for success.”