Men’s golf tries to get over the hump


Sam Daley practices at the Cold Water Golf Field Sept. 10.

Alex Gookin

Another meet, another middle-of-the-pack finish.

It’s a script that the ISU men’s golf team has been unintentionally following this spring season, but the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate did show signs of improvement. 

The men finished sixth in a field of 17 teams in Palm Springs, Calif., this past weekend. It was the team’s third time finishing in the top half of the standings in seven meets this season.

Although it may not have been perfect golf, the Cyclones hit even par as a team for the first time this spring.

“I wouldn’t say our score [Sunday] was an amazing score by any means … but you have to be happy when you see some improvement,” said coach Andrew Tank.

The team sat in 11th place after the first day and moved up to eighth after back-to-back rounds of 300. The improvement in the final round — a score of 288 — was the third-best round the team has shot this season and the first sub-300 round of the spring.

“The first two days were disappointing, just not good play from the guys,” Tank said. “I was feeling a lot better about how it went in the final round.”

The round was led by Sam Daley and Collin Foster, who each shot season-lows of 70. Daley ended up finishing first on the team with an overall score of 218 and tied for 16th individually.

Daley’s play wasn’t always perfect, however. During the first round after a disappointing start, Tank pulled him aside to talk.

“I talked to him on the 12th hole before he teed off and told him he needs to snap out of it and … needed to get his act together,” Tank said. “I think then the last 43 holes he played 4-under par. So, that was pretty impressive.”

This is also Daley’s first finish at the top of the Cyclone lineup with Scott Fernandez also on the scorecard this season. Daley credited the talk with coaches as the turning point in Palm Springs.

“From my point of view, sometimes you don’t think you’re good enough to compete with the guys, and you kind of start doubting yourself,” Daley said. “It was really good talking to coach Tank and coach Datz to try to get me back in the groove.”

The team’s No. 1 Scott Fernandez had a quiet weekend, finishing second on the team and finishing outside the top three individually for the first time this season.

Fernandez shot a first round of 72 before shooting back-to-back rounds of 74 to finish with a total score of 220, tied for 22nd individually. However, his season-worst performance didn’t deflate his attitude.

“Like they say, sometimes the worst tournaments are really helpful, and you can learn a lot from them. So, I’m just taking it like that,” Fernandez said. “I’m happy that even with not my best game, I’m able to score and keep the team in [one of] the top spots.”

The Cyclones are off until a March 22 meeting at the Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, S.C.