It’s always windy in Abilene, but the golf team got its fair share of wind and adversity when it competed at the Southland Conference Championships in McKinney at the beginning of the week.
“Conditions were very tough this week and it was a grind every hole,” senior Kyle Karnei said. “We didn’t play an easy hole all week, but I was proud to see us playing hard every shot.”
Through the conditions the Wildcats battled to an eighth place team finish, posting a score of 958. McNeese State came away with the title for the second straight year, carding a three-round total of 918. It’s worth noting ACU and McNeese posted identical scores of 310 on the final day of the tournament.
”The weather made what was already a very difficult course even harder,” head coach Tom Shaw said. “The winds changed directions each day so we had to game plan and adapt effectively. You have to have a great deal of patience and temper expectations when playing conditions are like that.”
The Wildcats were led by the individual performance of freshman Bryce Dooley, who carded three-straight rounds of 79 for a total score of 237 and 22nd place finish overall. Dooley’s fellow underclassmen, sophomore Garrett Glanton finished nine shots behind him and tied for 36th.
“Bryce Dooley starting to realize what kind of player he can become for ACU,” Shaw said. “I asked a lot of him as a freshman and he responded to the challenge. Garrett Glanton also had his typical strong spring and is poised to do great things next year.”
Playing in their final tournaments, seniors Ryan Beatty and Karnei recorded identical total scores of 239 which was good enough for 26th place overall. Junior G.K. Morrison finished just ahead of Glanton with a total of 245 and a 35th-place finish.
“It was a good year. We had a lot of guys get a lot better,” Karnei said. “This is going to set us up for future success because of how hard everyone worked this season. We have three really fantastic golfers coming in who are going to make us even better next year.”
Next season the team will welcome Alex Clouse from Flower Mound, Chase Allison from Robinson and Daniel Seibert from Waco.