The golf team tied for second place with Seton Hall on April 4 and 5 at the RedHawk Invitational at University Place, Washington.
The site was at Chambers Bay Golf Course, which is widely recognized as not only one of the top public courses in the nation, but a course that hosted the 2015 U.S. Open.
This tournament marks the highest placing the Wildcats have received all season long. The leaps and bounds ACU has made since the start of the spring semester has been notable, and something they hope to continue to build upon once conference season arrives.
“The venue made the tournament pretty special, not many times you can play at a U.S. Open site,” said head coach Tom Shaw. “It was spectacular. Weather was a challenge, but it was a balancing act to make sure the guys had everything they need and the mentality to compete.”
Heading into second day of the tournament, ACU was tied for 15th place. Questions remained of whether or not the Wildcats could battle back into contention with exterior challenges in four rain and sleet delays, however the spark for the team was lit as Day 2 begun.
“Really the key for us was that we only had one double bogey,” Shaw said. “We had limited big mistakes, and that is what you have to do in a very demanding course like that.”
ACU made history in having all their individual scores in the top 15. Junior Zane Heusel tied for third place in the tournament with consecutive rounds of 71.
“Feels really good to put the pieces together for a good result,” Heusel said. “Things are clicking at the right time for us. It is always great to get a good finish in with this team. Really good for the program to build that confidence when postseason arrives.”
The remarkable comeback ACU was able to pull off was a total team effort. Battling back in just one day can be a challenge, but all it takes is a little regrouping to tap into what your team can really be.
“Yeah, Coach told us that it is, no longer a marathon it is a sprint”, Heusel said. “Do not be aggressive, but be confident. Everything is going to matter. New mindset of making everything count and grind this thing out, and we were able to just that.”
Next on the agenda for the Wildcats, is the Bayou City Collegiate tournament beginning on April 11 in Conroe, where conference rival, Sam Houston, will be hosting. With everyone swinging from all cylinders for ACU, they look to improve team chemistry and confidence as the season progresses.
“Especially heading into a conference in a couple of weeks, we are really happy with this win,” Heusel said. “We have been putting in the work and keeping to ourselves and trusting that we practice and that results are going to come when we stay patient.”