When things aren’t going well, it’s easy to make them worse.
This was the case for the Michigan men’s golf team as it remained stuck in neutral for the season this weekend, posting a score of 941 to place 16th out of 18 teams at the Kepler Intercollegiate. The showing adds to Michigan’s continuing woes as the team has not placed higher than ninth in any tournament this season.
“Obviously we played horribly today,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said. “But when your two guys who have played this golf course before – Scott (Carlton) and Dave (Nichols) – don’t play well, it makes things even that more difficult.
Carlton and Nichols were both in the top four – in terms of scoring average – before this weekend’s tournament. Nichols placed seventh back in November at the Landfall Tradition.
“Dave Nichols played great (in the first round) and then backed that up with his career worst (round of 84) in the second and then 80 today,” Sapp said. “That was kind of surprising.”
The Wolverines started out the tournament with a score of 308 in the morning on Saturday and then a 311 in the afternoon to sit in 13th place heading into the final day. They then balooned in the final round yesterday, posting a 322.
“It is a challenging golf course and the pin placements were difficult, but we knew where they were going to be,” Sapp said. “When your veterans don’t play well, it makes it harder on the younger guys to pick up the ball and carry it for the team. It was just a difficult weekend. We just couldn’t put it together.”
Although the weekend was a sour one for the team, redshirt freshman Mark McIntosh had a solid tournament, shooting 76-77-78 to finish in a tie for 36th place. He was the only Wolverine able to break 80 each day, and this was the third time this season he posted the lowest score for Michigan.
Despite the fact that the Wolverines have struggled so far this season, Sapp was still upbeat about their chances to improve and have a good showing in two weeks when they head to East Lansing for the Bruce Fossum/Spartan Invitational.
“We’re going to get two good weeks of practice in and also take final exams and take care of the academics,” Sapp said. “We really shouldn’t have anything in our way before we head to Michigan State. Hopefully we will be fresh mentally and definitely physically.”