Another freshman highlight from the latest men’s golf tournament

Brian Spaen

Another freshman golfer is emerging for the Cyclones.

Back-to-back champions freshman Scott Fernandez and senior Nate McCoy finished in the top 10 overall in the Firestone Invitational. They both finished at 211 and 212 strokes, but coach Andrew Tank said he could have seen better scores from his players.

“Nate’s ball striking was about as high as it was in the previous tournament,” Tank said. “He didn’t make as many putts, so his score wasn’t as low.”

Without the early struggles in the round, Fernandez could have also seen a better score.

“I was impressed with how Scott birdied his last four holes,” Tank said. “He was hitting the ball well but he wasn’t making putts, so he was frustrated through his whole round.”

Both players weren’t the only ones who were at the top of the leader board. Three Cyclones finished in the top 12.

Freshman Sam Daley is coming off of his best tournament so far, finishing at 214 strokes and tied for 12th place overall in the Firestone Invitational. He opened the first day with a round of 70 strokes.

Overcoming some struggles in the second round in the first day, Daley was able to revive his tournament score in the final round.

“Sam also hit the ball well and made some putts,” Tank said. “I was really proud of how he came back today after shooting five over [in the second round] and then shot a five under.”

Daley has participated in each tournament so far this fall. His hometown is Wynnum, Australia, where he was ranked third among all the Australian junior golfers.

“Normally my pitching and choke down is pretty good,” Daley said. “My putting is normally good but it’s been off lately.”

The final round was big contrast to his second round, where his 67 strokes were his best he’s done in one round.

“I hit three bad shots which cost me five strokes,” Daley said. “My coaches told me to remain patient. I was seeing the ball well and my game was in a good spot. With that patience it helped me shoot a pretty good [final] round.”

Daley has had his struggles in parts of his game, but will work on them in the upcoming practices as the team gets ready for its final tournament of the fall season at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate in Greensboro, N.C.

“Putting and driving are going to be a more consistent thing,” Daley said.