The Webster University golf team endured 35 mph wind gusts at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational in Normal, Ill., on April 5-6. The Gorloks shot a 311 in the first round and a 327 in the second to finish the meet with a score of 638.
The Gorloks earned 13th place out of 26 schools that participated.
Freshman Brodie Dakin led the Gorloks and shot a 157 (77-80) over the two-day tournament. Dakin tied for 30th out of 132 golfers and was named St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week for golf.
“It’s a good achievement, but the main goal is to win conference in a couple weeks, and we’ve got to keep working hard towards that,” Dakin said.
Senior Kyler Scott shot a 159 (74-85) and placed second for the Gorloks. Scott was 13th overall after the first round but shot an 85 in the windy conditions. He finished tied for 41st. Senior Steven Kinsman shot a 160 (80-80) for the tournament.
“The wind was blowing 35 to 40 mph all day on day two,” said coach Andrew Belsky. “(In those conditions) the big key is that you have to know that it’s not going to be pleasant and the wind is going to blow the golf ball all over the place. You just try to keep the ball down and out of the wind as much as possible.”
Junior Andrew Dowd shot a 163 (81-82) and tied for 63rd place. Rounding out the Gorloks’ performance was junior Andrew Noble. Noble placed tied for 80th with his two-day total of 166 (80-86).
Belsky said he is OK with the result of the tournament, but the adverse conditions were definitely a factor in his team’s performance.
“I’m not happy, but I’m not upset with it,” Belsky said. “I’m just kind of in the middle somewhere. We beat some decent teams, but we were right there with some teams that are highly ranked in the nation. We just couldn’t get past them, and so it’s a little bit frustrating.
“We had a chance to beat some really good teams, and we didn’t quite pull it off. It would’ve been nice if we could have hit a few better shots or made a few less mistakes and managed to get past them.”
The Gorloks have battled Mother Nature all spring and finding themselves on the golf course has been a challenge. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, St. Louis had 4.95 inches of precipitation in March this year and the average temperature was 40.5 degrees. In 2012, St. Louis saw 3.33 inches of precipitation in March with an average temperature of 61.1 degrees.
“The big thing we need right now is just time on the golf course playing,” Belsky said. “The more swings we get on the course, the better off we are going to be. So that’s why we’re standing out here today in the wind trying to get ready for it again.”
The Gorloks will play in the Weist Foundation Classic on Friday, April 12 in Decatur, Ill., and on Saturday, April 13 in Forsyth, Ill. Millikin University (Ill.) is the host school for the tournament.