Last season’s top player and the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year, senior Kyler Scott will help lead the Gorloks golf team to another promising season.
The defending conference champions will once again be coached by Andrew Belsky, who enters into his ninth season as head coach of the team. Belsky, SLIAC coach of the year last season, said his team’s biggest strength for this season is having upperclassmen lead the way, including three seniors and two juniors. Heading the team will be Scott, seniors Steven Kinsman and Dan Klipsch and juniors J.T. Beckmann and Andrew Noble.
“The strength that we have now is that, unlike past years, we’re old,” Belsky said. “We’ve got three seniors and two juniors that have been here for a bunch of seasons with us.”
Two players from last year’s squad, Matt Vanderbeek and Tanner Rabb, transferred to other schools this school year. Belsky had no comment on why they transferred, but Scott is looking forward rather than dwelling on the loss.
“Forget about them,” Scott said. “We have players that want to step up and be key players for the team. We have a new guy that transferred in, Brodie Dakin, and he will be an immediate impact for our team.”
Another freshman new to the Gorlok golf team this year is Ben Minahan. Minahan played golf for Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, Mo.
Over the summer, Belsky said all the players competed in tournaments around the country, which has helped improve their games. Scott played in the Metropolitan Open Championship pro-am event at St. Albans, Mo., in July where he finished 40th in a field of 141 golfers.
Kinsman worked on his short game throughout the offseason.
“I practiced a lot on my putting and short game to improve my weaknesses,” Kinsman said. “I wanted to get my touchback and be more consistent when there is a little more pressure.”
For this upcoming season, Belsky wants Webster golf to be nationally recognized. Belsky said he wants the Webster name out there. This year is perfect timing as the golf team prepares for a lot of action outside of Missouri.
“I believe for all of us, it will be advancing our national ranking, becoming better known on the regional stage,” Belsky said. “We’re traveling a lot, seeing a lot of great competition on the road, and that’s how you get noticed. So (it’s) increasing the awareness that we’re out there, and we are a force to reckon with.”
The Division III national championship is on all their minds, especially Kinsman, who wants to be a part of a team that finishes in the top 15 in the country. He believes this year’s team is capable of that.
“We definitely want to make it to the national championships again, but more importantly try to make the cut down there,” Kinsman said. “That’s something we haven’t done in the past three years. Individualized, I would really like to finish first team all-conference and go out with a bang.”
The team will open its season in the Culver’s Edgewood Fall Classic in Janesville, Wis., on Aug. 31. Last year, the team tied for fifth place in this tournament out of 15 teams.