Cyclone golfers struggle in the Sunshine State

Jonathan Lowe

Florida is usually a sunny place to visit during spring break, but this wasn’t the case last weekend at the El Diablo Golf Course in Citrus Springs.

The ISU men’s golf team was one of several squads competing in the final round of the El Diablo Intercollegiate when the remainder of the tournament was canceled due to rain. The Cyclones shot 600 for the two rounds and placed 13th in the field of 24 teams.

The University of Toledo benefited from the weather, winning the event with a two-round total of 579. Rhode Island finished in second, outlasting Miami of Ohio, who slipped to third after completing the first 18 holes in second place.

The duo of Kevin Oswald and Jamie Faidley topped the list of ISU swingers, tying for 21st place with matching tallies of three-over-par 147.

Josh Clay completed his tourney at 153, one stroke ahead of teammate Matt Gatchel. Phil Slovitt ended the Cyclone scoring with a two-round total of 156.

Scott Phillips of Rice was the only person to shoot a score below 70 during the first round. He would hold on to win the individual title, topping three other golfers by two strokes. In the second place tie were Toledo teammates Brad Heaven and Sean McTernan along with Matt Abbott of Penn State.

The tournament was winding down its final round when officials called the event. Since several teams did not finish the round, scores from that session were not counted in the overall totals.

“A couple of us were pretty frustrated with it,” Clay said. “We finally had a chance to do a little damage, but it was good to beat a couple of the top schools.”

After a finish near the bottom of the field in San Antonio, the Cardinal and Gold took a different approach in preparing for this tournament.

“Since we can’t play outside right now, we got down there a week early and worked a ton on the short game,” Clay said. “We were just going in [trying] to take small steps and shoot reasonable scores.”

One area of the game that the team stressed to improve on was for the young squad to be more consistent.

“Our one problem is that we’re still not playing well at the same time,” Clay said. “If we can shoot four good scores for three days in a row, then we can get to that next level.”

The Cyclones will head out west to battle at the Stevinson Ranch Invitational Monday and Tuesday in Turlock, Calif.