Cyclone golfers struggle in poor conditions, set for weekend tournament

ISU golf coaches were impressed by the level of professionalism with which McCoy handled himself.

ISU golf coaches were impressed by the level of professionalism with which McCoy handled himself.

Dean Berhow-Goll

The snowball effect can be a good thing when things are going your way. Last week, the ISU men’s golf team set a record low 54-hole performance at the Desert Shootout.

The teams’ play was aided by the weather in Phoenix: 80 degree temperatures with hardly any wind. Hitting fairways builds confidence, and confidence helps players knock down those 10-foot putts. All these things snowballing together can have a great effect, and they did have the best effect as the Cyclones tallied their record low.

However, Monday and Tuesday proves the snowballing effect can be just as equally devastating to a team.

The weather in Little Rock, Ark., didn’t do the team any favors;  40 degrees, rainy and windy. The Chenal Country Club was a much more difficult course. Junior Tom Lathrop said the fairways were tighter, and the greens were trickier.

To add to the tougher conditions and course, the golfers started the meet off poorly. After the first round the Cyclones were a combined 20 over par. After the second round it snowballed into a 39 over par to complete day one.

“It was hard, everyone was getting frustrated,” Lathrop said. “With the 40 degree temperatures and the mist, it was just a bad combination.”

After having such high expectations coming into the first round, and coming out of it so poorly, the level of frustration became high, and attitudes overall became negative quickly.

“We didn’t have that winning attitude, and it deteriorated over the course of each round,” said coach Andrew Tank. “I can accept poor play, but the negative attitudes were disappointing.”

The Cyclones were led by sophomore Borja Virto who came in with a 225 total that tied him for 23rd. Juniors Nate McCoy and Michael Wuertz both had scores of 229 which tied them both for 40th. Behind them were Lathrop with a 234, and Nathan Leary with a 236.

The team doesn’t have any time to hang their heads. After only a day back to school, they’ll hit the road to Baton Rouge, LA for the University Club Intercollegiate. Not only do the golfers not get a break back home, but they don’t get a break in terms of competition.

At the University Club Collegiate there will be strong teams, such as No. 12 LSU, No. 13 Iowa, No. 43 Michigan, No. 54 Notre Dame, No. 62 Penn State and No. 77 Minnesota. All these teams are ranked higher than the currently-No. 88 Cyclones, which will make rebounding even tougher at a meet like this.

“The best teams and the best players fight through that adversity, we didn’t do that last week,” Tank said. “But we have a great opportunity to do that this week.”