IWU golf sweeps tournament at ONU

Andrew Zienty

Women’s golf team on the left and men’s golf team on the right after winning the tournament
Photo(left): Jackie Garcia
Photo(right): Andrew Abel

IWU men’s and women’s golf competed in a tournament this past weekend at Olivet Nazarene University. Both teams finished in first place with the men’s team ‘A’ scoring 567 and the women’s team ‘A’ scoring 642.

The men’s and women’s team ‘B’ also saw success as the men’s team ‘B’ placed second with a score of 597 and the women’s team ‘B’ placed fifth with a score of 731.

Each team also had members take home first place for individual performance. On the men’s side, Junior Jimmy Morton shot a two-day total of 134 (65 and 69) and on the women’s side, Freshman Emma Thorman shot a two-day total of 154 (80 and 74).

“The competitive environment of our team challenges you to work harder and get better every week. Any given week anyone on our team could win” Morton said.

Coach Jim Ott, the men’s head coach said, “this team is just as good as the National Championship from two years ago and the No. 1 ranked team from last year.”

The season was canceled last spring due to COVID-19 so the team was unable to defend their national title from 2018.

“It’s a given that we expect to win tournaments, the CCIW and the National Championship every year. If we do all the right things, everyone buys in and does their part, then championships will come our way,” Ott said.

While the teams were able to compete, it was very limited due to COVID-19 protocols. The season was shortened and travel has been restricted to only Illinois competition by IWU. This tournament at ONU finished the teams’ fall seasons. 

“Our season was a little different this fall, but we were happy to play and compete. Coach Ott and Mike Wagner worked hard to get us this modified season” senior Andrew Abel said.

“The tournament was a great way for us to end the fall season. We all have something to improve on this winter for the spring season” Abel said.

Both teams’ normal fall schedules have them playing in tournaments against other top programs across the country.

Senior Jackie Garcia said “this tournament gave us a competitive preview of our upcoming spring. The playing field was smaller than normal due to COVID-19 restrictions but we had good and bad takeaways.”

“As a team, we need to work on putting the most, reading the greens to be specific. But we had a couple of positives is that both coaches were with us on the course and the first-year class is a strong and competitive one” Garcia said.

Senior Maggie Warrner said, “These fall tournaments are so important for everyone because it helps the first-year golfers compete on the college level and all the returning players to find their groove after missing out on the spring season.”

Both men’s and women’s teams will have a short rest period before they start winter training in the golf simulator and putting green at Shirk Center. Both teams are on schedule for a normal spring season.