The ACU golf team had a rough start to their season but managed to save par in their first spring season in Div. I.
The spring campaign started at the Moe O’Brien Intercollegiate hosted by McNeese State. The team had a respectable showing, finishing in a tie for fifth. Junior Corbin Renner grabbed a top-10 finish, and Senior Trey Sullivan was in the top 20.
From there, the ‘Cats went international, playing south of the border in the Querencia Cabo Collegiate. ACU went head-to-head with the best golf schools in the nation and came out last. Fifty-five strokes separated them and 13th-placed Coast Carolina. While the experience may have been beneficial, the end result was not.
Next, the Wildcats competed in the University of Arkansas-Little Rock First Tee Classic. The team finished only slightly better than in Mexico, grabbing the 13th spot out of 14, but it was the start of a Renner hot-streak that would carry the rest of the season. He earned another top-10 finish, this time in seventh.
That finish alone was the turning point for the entire season. Renner was a different player and the ‘Cats were a different team because of him. In the ULM/Wallace Jones Invitational, the team played much better as a whole, and it showed as they finished in seventh. Renner again played well and tied for 16th.
At the ASU Red Wolves Intercollegiate, the Wildcats had another top-10 finish and Renner continued to improve to sixth. Sullivan also added nice support and had another top-20 finish.
The Southland Conference Championships were much of the same. ACU finished eighth, and Sullivan was top-20. But this time Renner wasn’t just top 10; he was in the top three. His third place finish was his best of the spring, and it came against some of his toughest competition.
It was the perfect finish to an imperfect season. Renner once again carried the team with Sullivan providing nice support.
“Overall, it was a positive first season in Div. I,” Freshman Kyle Karnei said. “It is something we can definitely build on next year.”
The ‘Cats will be losing Sullivan, but the sky is the limit for a player as dynamic as Renner. If this freshman class can develop like Sullivan, ACU will be in a great spot going forward.
“I have enjoyed my experience on the team, but at the same time I am ready to move onto the next chapter of my life,” Sullivan said.
ACU’s first season in the Southland undoubtedly ended on a positive note. The ‘Cats rallied from a few disappointing tournaments, and Renner took charge to turn the season around. When it is was all said and done, the Wildcats closed out the year at even par.