ISU returns from VCU Shootout with mixed emotions

Sam+Daley+practices+at+the+Cold+Water+Golf+Field+Sept.+10.%0A

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

Brian Freda

A fog of disappointment hung in the air as members of the men’s golf team boarded their commercial airliner on Tuesday night.

Returning from the VCU Shootout in Virginia, some players believed the team did not play as well as they had expected.

“I don’t think we played to our potential,” said Sam Daley, a returning sophomore on the team. “[My game] was very inconsistent.”

Daley, who tied for 14th place, left with the second-highest position on the leaderboard for the Cyclones, carding a total of 71-75-77 (223).

The team had held third place after two rounds Monday, but fell to fifth following the final 18 holes on Tuesday morning.

“We didn’t finish off our round very well [Tuesday],” said coach Andrew Tank. “That was disappointing.”

While some players’ games may appear atrophied, returning sophomore Scott Fernandez played through to tie for second as an individual.

Fernandez said he’s satisfied with taking second place but hopes to work on parts of his game.

“With second, you can’t be unhappy with it,” Fernandez said. “But there’s always room for improvement.”

Fernandez, who won the individual championship last year, fell behind the leader by just two strokes with a score of 72-70-72 (214), which is two under par.

“It was playing a little harder than last year,” Fernandez said. “I think it was because it was windier.”

Redshirt freshman Collin Foster also found the course difficult. Playing in his first college tournament, Foster found it exciting but agreed it held challenges.

“[It was] frustrating at times,” Foster said. “I just wasn’t hitting the ball as well as I know I’m capable of.”

Foster may not have played as well as he expected, but he was glad Fernandez had success during the two-day competition.

“I’m happy for Scott; he played well, but I think the team overall is a little frustrated,” Foster said. “I know we’re going to build off this tournament.”

Team members look forward to working on their games in practice, but Tank thinks it may take more than driving ranges and putting greens.

“We need to get mentally tougher and be able to finish off those rounds,” said Tank. “Golf’s a sport where you’re not going to get every shot perfect. We need to accept poor shots, move on and get to a position where [we] can stay par.”

Other players at the tournament included Borja Virto and Zach Steffen who both tied for 33rd place with scores of 230 (+14).

The team will strive to improve at the next tournament, Rees Jones Intercollegiate, in South Carolina on Oct. 2.