The ACU men’s golf team finished thirteenth over the weekend at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, hosted by Air Force.
The Wildcats finished tied with Utah at 22-over-par (886) in the invitational, which was played at the Eisenhower Golf Course in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The tournament was the first event for the ACU golf season and although the team started off slow, including a 15-over-par 87 by junior Robert Johnson, the Wildcats improved in the last two rounds.
“By the second round, I thought we had adapted and shook off the effects of the first round,” head coach Tom Shaw said. “By the third round, I thought we were doing pretty well too, but first tournament of the year, in a unique environment, I was pleased with how we responded and I thought we got better each round and I think that’s all we can ask for.”
The invitational marks the first time that Shaw has been able to see redshirt senior Luke Carpenter play competitively, as this is Shaw’s second season coaching the Wildcats and Carpenter has been injured since 2013.
“Luke Carpenter is a new thing, and I like what I see,” Shaw said. “He’s a good enough player who can help us immediately and from what I understand of these past few years, I think he’s finally truly healthy now, a hundred percent healthy, and I think Luke is encouraged now by where his game is at and he wants to get better and that kind of drive, that initiative, makes coaching a lot easier.”
The team, which will play again in Colorado next week, now has a little experience this season playing in a high altitude, different environment, which they will take to Fort Collins.
“It’s one thing to have knowledge of [the environment], and then to apply it,” Shaw said. “By having three rounds in Colorado, just by experience, will help us next week.”
Senior Dillon Vaughn, who finished seventeenth individually in the tournament after a three-under-par (69) in the final round, said that the team will be working on specific things this week to prepare for next week and further into the season.
“Just wedge game,” Vaughn said. “Most of us really struggled with controlling our distances with our wedges and so we will probably just be focusing in on trying to really dial in our short game in general.”
The team will compete next Monday and Tuesday in the Ram Masters Invitational in Fort Collins, Colorado, hosted by Colorado State.