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KSU Tuscarawas Unable to Adjust to Adverse Conditions

Golden Eagles Open 2014 Season in Disappointing Fashion

4/4/14 by P. Wedge

The Kent State University at Tuscarawas golf team could not get untracked in the opening tournament of the season at OU Chillicothe and struggled mightily against a large field.  Playing with just four players the Golden Eagles plodded their way around a gusty and rainy filled round to finish in tenth (10th) place in a 15-team field with a team aggregate of 372.

Owens Community College won the Hilltopper Invitational carding a 304, as they outdistanced second place Shawnee State by 18 strokes.  The Golden Eagles finished ahead of five teams with Miami University Middletown at the back of the field with a team total 429.

Freshman Taylor Enama (Stonecreek,OH/New Philadelpha HS) was low man for the Golden Eagles with a great opening season round of 44/45/89, while no other team mate was able to break 90 at the Chillicothe Jaycee Golf Course.  The team managed just one birdie on the card for the day.  Zach Riggins (Carrollton,OH/Carrollton HS) shot 49/42/91, Darryn Howard (New Philadelphia,OH/Carrollton HS) went 44/49/93 while Doug Ross (Dennison,OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS) had 49/50/99.

Although the team's practice play has been solid on their home course, the high winds and blowing sideways rain took its toll.

"The guys really struggled in the wind and rain", said Coach Rob Brindley.  "Even before they got out of the van after the three and one-half hour ride through a constant downpour, they had already beaten themselves", he added.  "Sometimes, you concentrate on the negatives (the weather) and don't let yourself be mentally ready to play in spite of the conditions and defeat yourself before you even begin", Brindley added.  "We must do a better job of preparing mentally, because it is spring golf in Ohio where you can experience several seasons in one day".

According to Brindley the team was missing their two-man who suffered a car accident two-days before the season opener, and who also contracted the flu night before the team left for Chillicothe and did not make the trip.

"To be playing without a fifth player does not leave much margin for error and makes us much more vulnerable to off-rounds", Brindley said.  "But this group will bounce back because they bring their hard hats to practice everyday and are dedicated to the game. When you realize that if they had matched their preseason scoring averages, we would have finished in sixth place, now that is very telling", he added.

Final Standings - Owens CC 304, Shawnee State 322, MU Hamilton 322, OU Chillicothe 325, Cincinnati State 326, Ohio State Newark 338, WVU Parkersburg 340, Clark State CC 340, OSU Lima 343, OU Eastern 349, KSU Tuscarawas 372, OU Zanesville 373, OU Lancaster 382, MU Middletown 429, UA Wayne DNP.

 Zach Helps on a Ruling at Valley ViewZach Narrowly Misses Birdie

Riggins Earns Overall Tourney Medalist Trophy With Round of 73

Golden Eagles Show Vast Improvement and Finish Fifth

4/6/14 by P. Wedge

The second tournament of the season opened with high expectations for the Kent State Tuscarawas Golden Eagles golf team, and the team's aggregate score improved dramatically as the weather took a turn for the better.  The Golden Eagles shot 331---41 strokes better than the previous day at OU Chillicothe---and finished a respectable 5th of 10 teams in cool but warmer and drier conditions at Valley View Golf Club in Lancaster.

OU Chillicothe won the tournament with an overall team score of 317 which nipped the second place Harriers of MU Hamilton by just two strokesThe Golden Eagles however, won individual medalist honors with a round two-over par round of 73 by freshman Zach Riggins (Carrollton,OH/Carrollton HS)

With the Golden Eagles playing shorthanded for the second straight day, Riggins got things going right out of the gate a birdie and six pars on his outward nine and eight pars on the inward nine to finish with a solid 37/36/73, while Doug Ross (Dennison,OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS) went out in 42 and came home in 41 for an 83 carding a birdie, Darryn Howard (New Philadelphia,OH/ Carrollton HS) shot 44/42/86 and Taylor Enama (Stonecreek,OH/New Philadelphia HS) shot 47/42/89.

"The weather certainly improved but we started out in 36 degrees which made things tough," said Coach Rob Brindley.  "Not having to fight the wind and rain made things a lot easier and the sun even popped out," Brindley said.  "Better weather showed in our temperament and the guys showed how bad they wanted it today.  Zach knocked 18 strokes off his round, Doug bettered himself by 16 strokes and Darryn improved by 7 strokes.  They knew that Friday was not an indication of their capabilities by any means and they got after it. At dinner after the tournament at Chillicothe, they were at a loss for words and a couple apologized for not performing up to their own standards.  Now that shows you how much they care about one another and it certainly showed in their play today. I am very proud of them", Brindley said.

The Golden Eagles finished just five strokes from third place but six strokes ahead of the sixth place team.  On Friday, they finished 50 strokes behind the third place conference team, but on Saturday they finished just 12 stokes behind the same team (MU Hamilton).  Even though they improved, the Golden Eagles know they left some strokes left on the course and when their number two-man gets back that there will be less pressure on the them and they can relax and play golf.

The final standings illustrate the team's competitive drive and Brindley said it was just a matter of time before they rise to the top of the leaderboard.

Final Standings - OU Chillicothe 317, MU Hamilton319, OU Eastern 326, OSU Newark 327, KSU Tuscarawas 331, OSU Lima 337, OU Zanesville 354, UA Wayne 380, MU Middletown 382, OU Lancaster 395.

Doug Sizes Up a Chip at HamiltonDoug Laments a Missed Opportunity
 

Warm, Breezy Day On Wet Course

Golden Eagles Place Seventh at Hamilton

4/11/14 by P. Wedge

The weather conditions improved greatly on Saturday with temperatures reaching the low 70s, however the Thursday night rains and soggy course conditions hamperedthe Golden Eagles as they placed seventh in a 15-team field at the MU Hamilton Invitational.  With a team total 339, KSU Tuscarawas finished 24 strokes off the pace set by tournament champion Owens Community College (315) but were beaten by just two Ohio Regional Campus Conference foes.

The Hamilton Elks Golf Club was much softer than it appeared from the first tee box, but the Golden Eagles found themselves struggling with distance control and putting, not plugged or lost balls, as they climbed atop the early leaderboard with more than one-half of the field in the clubhouse.

Freshman Zach Riggins (Carrollton,OH/Carrollton HS) carded four pars and birdie on his outward nine shooting 42, but came home in great form with three birdies and three pars on the inward nine to finish with a 36 and an opening round of 78 placing him in a T10th in the overall medalist race.  Fellow freshmen Taylor Enama (New Philadelphia,OH/New Philadelphia HS) carded two birdies in a round of 42/45/87 and Doug Ross (Dennison,OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS) added two birdies and came home with a round of 38 after a disappointing opening round to finish 49/38/87.  Sophomore Cameron Mazziotta (Malvern/Malvern HS) also added a birdie and struggled with his putter on the back nine after opening in 40 to finish 40/48/87.

"It was nice for the weather to turn and the sun to shine, but the course was still hard to navigate," said Coach Rob Brindley.  "We really liked the course, but struggled to find some consistency in our rounds today", he added.

The Golden Eagles also benefited from playing with their first full roster of the season and were able to have five golfers competing in a tournament.  

"I thought the guys would be able to relax a bit knowing they had a fifth-man today," Brindley said.   "Most of the time the guys put enough stress on themselves to go low and having only four guys only compounds that.  Maybe we were a little too comfortable knowing we had that extra scorer out there today and we struggled a bit and got a bit too aggressive at times", he added.

Final Standings - Owens CC 315, OSU Newark 325, MU Hamilton 325, Shawnee St 333, Cincinnati St 335, Clark St 336, KSU Tuscarawas 339, OSU Lima 342, OU Chillicothe 344, OU Eastern 345, OU Zanesville 372, OU Lancaster 377, UA Wayne 389, MU Middletown 403, Mt. St. Joe DQ.

Taylor on Par 3 9th at Wildwood GC Cam Reads Line for His Chip

Team Starts to Gel

Golden Eagles Finish Impressive Third at Middletown

4/12/14 by P. Wedge

The Kent State Tuscarawas golf team matched their lowest round of the season with a team total of 331 and captured third place at the MU Middletown Thunderhawk Invitational.  OU Chillicothe won the title with a score of 321 while MU Hamilton took runnersup honors with a 324.

Wildwood Golf Club played longer than its 6400 yards due to the wet course conditions, but temperature soared to the upper 70s as the Golden Eagles found lots of scoring opportunities.

For the third time this season freshman Zach Riggins (Carrollton,OH/Carrollton HS)led the team with a low round of 79 with three birdies and seven pars shooting 42/37/82.  Riggins had two of his birdies and three of his pars on the inward nine to finish tied for the fourth lowest round on the day. 

Cameron Mazziotta (Malvern,OH/Malvern HS) ended his final nine with a fine score of 39 after opening with a 43 and finished with a round of 82 parring five straight holes on the back nine.  Darryn Howard (New Philadelphia,OH/Carrollton HS) and Doug Ross (Dennison,OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS) shot identical rounds of 44/41/85 to round out the team scoring. 

"When you look at the scores you will find that we are getting very, very close to the top of that leaderboard," said Coach Rob Brindley.  "We didn't get out of the gate too well today and in looking at our stats we improved a full 13 strokes during our back nine as compared to our aggregate score on the front side of the course.  We are very close and I expect more good things down the home stretch of the season," Brindley said.

A quad and a triple bogey kept one of the Golden Eagles from shooting a round in the 70s and their place in the standings would have been much different on the day.

Final Standings - OU Chillicothe 321, MU Hamilton 324, KSU Tuscarawas 331, OSU Newark 332, OU Eastern 336, OSU Lima 337, Clark St, OU Zanesville 359, UA Wayne 378, OU Lancaster 392, MU Middletown 406.

 

Cam Crosses the Bridge to the 16th Green

Cam's Birdie Try Slides by on the 18thDoug Tries to Coax a Birdie Home


Lowest Round of the Year

Golden Eagles Fifth, But Just 12 Strokes From First

4/19/14 by P. Wedge

Although they shot their lowest team score of the season, a 323 was only good enough to place the Kent State Tuscarawas golf team in fifth place at the OSU Lima Baron Invitational.  Miami Hamilton won the tournament title with a score of 311 just 12 stokes ahead of the Golden Eagles, while OU Chillicothe took runnersup honors with a 315.

Hawthorne Hills Golf Course, a Frank Lickliter design, was much longer than its 6710 yard layout because of recent rains.  Part of the course was closed which forced the teams to play two holes of a third nine---executive course---which made the course a par 73 for the day.

Freshman Zach Riggins (Carrollton,OH/Carrollton HS)led the team once again with a round of 77 as he carded five birdies and six pars shooting 38/39/77.  Riggins recorded three birdies and one-half of his pars on the inward nine to finish tied for the third lowest round on the day despite a triple-bogey on the 16th hole due to a misplaced out-of-bounds stake.

Cameron Mazziotta (Malvern,OH/Malvern HS) recorded 10 pars on his card while parring three of the last four holes he played to go 41/40/81, while Doug Ross (Dennison,OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS) had eight pars and shot identical rounds of 41/41 for a round of 82 and Darryn Howard (New Philadelphia,OH/Carrollton HS) had seven pars on his way to a round of 41/42/83.  Fifth-man Taylor Enama (Stonecreek,OH/New Philadelphia HS) shot his best round of the year with a 41/45/86.

"As a team we scored well today," said Coach Rob Brindley.  "We've come a long, long, way this season and had 36 pars and six birdies as a team, but still left lots of chances out there as well. I can't fault the effort everyone really played well," he added.  "The guys have really worked hard despite a near 80 degree day this week followed by a 30 degree day with snow and a day of rain.  We've shown dramatic improvement over the last couple of weeks.  A few tweaks here and there and instilling the right golf mindset have made a major difference.  We can only control our own game, and playing the course and not our competitors has been paramount to our success" Brindley said.  "We simply have to do a better job of avoiding double (4) and triple bogeys (2).  If we had played those holes as bogey holes, we would have tied for second place.  Those big numbers really hurt," he added.

Many don't think of golf as a true team sport, but when you look at the scoreboard from today's tournament you will find that a errant shot here or missed opportunity there can really affect a team's final standing.

Final Standings - MU Hamilton 311, OU Chillicothe 315, OU Eastern 319, OSU Newark 322, KSU Tuscarawas 323, Clark State 324, OSU Lima 'B' 327, OSU Lima 'A' 328, OU Lancaster 335, UA Wayne 368, OU Zanesville 394, MU Middletown 398.

 Birdie Putts Can be Never WrackingZachs Cleans His Wedge Before a Pitch Shot

Team Falters After Wet Week

Golden Eagles Fifth Again, But Just Two Strokes From Third

4/26/14 by P. Wedge

Just one week after shooting their lowest team total of the season, the Golden Eagles struggled to a 339 placing them fifth at the OU Zanesville Tracer Classic.  OSU Newark outdistanced the field with a conference season low total of 310 while MU Hamilton was second with a 320.

After a very wet week and overnight rain, the tournament was played with the ball down much to the dismay of most of the field.  Many times balls plugged in the fairways or had mud on them, but the greens proved to be very firm.

The Golden Eagles were paced by Sophomore Cameron Mazziotta (Malvern,OH/Malvern HS) and Freshman Doug Ross(Dennison,OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS) with identical rounds of 42/41/83.  Ross recorded five pars and birdie while Mazziotta had seven pars on his round.

Freshman Zach Riggins (Carrollton,OH/Carrollton HS) had six pars and a birdie on his card to go 41/44/85, while fellow first-year player Taylor Enama (Stonecreek,OH/New Philadelphia HS) went 43/45/88.

"I didn't expect this outcome today, especially following up the momentum we built over the last two weeks," said Coach Rob Brindley.  "I think it was one of those two steps forward one step back sort of days.  We actually played better on the longer part of the course and lost ourselves on the shorter side where we had 6 double bogeys, even though nobody really played well," he added.   "It was a mad scramble to get the scores we did as we had 10 big numbers today," Brindley said.

The Golden Eagles had just 23 pars and two birdies on the day and had one player withdraw midway through the second round.  The number of strokes lost was staggering even though the team was just three strokes from finishing in third place.

"We really have to get back to playing solid golf because next week we have to defend our home turf, and that's something sacred in golf," Brindley said.

Final Standings - OSU Newark 310, MU Hamilton 320, OSU Lima 337, OU Chillicothe 337, KSU Tuscarawas 339, OU Eastern 357, OU Zanesville 357, OU Lancaster 377, MU Middletown 404, UA Wayne DNS.

 Doug Converts Lag PuttTaylor Converts an Up & DownZach Congratulates His Playing Companions

Team Plays Consistently

Golden Eagles Third in Own Invitational at Neutral Site

5/2/14 by P. Wedge

Due to very wet course conditions the Kent State Tuscarawas golf team was forced to abandon their home course while hosting their invitational tournament.  Playing without the luxury of home course advantage, the Golden Eagles managed a team total 331 to finish third in a tournament won by MU Hamilton with a score of 316 while OSU Newark was second with a 325.

In what seems to be a prominent weather pattern this season---cold, wind and rain---Oak Shadows Golf Club was deluged with more than four inches of rain several days leading up to the tournament.  Practice during the week of prep was also affected adversely and the tournament was forced to move to River Greens Golf Course in West Lafayette, Ohio, more than 30 minutes south of New Philadelphia.

The Golden Eagles got consistent team scoring on the breezy cool day and was led by freshman Zach Riggins (Carrollton,OH/Carrollton HS) with identical rounds of 40 for an eight over par score of 80.  Riggins strung together a litany of pars and two birdies on his day.  Doug Ross (Dennison,OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS) had 10 pars and a birdie while going out in 43 and coming home in fine fashion with a 39 for a round of 82, parring seven of nine holes on his final nine.

Sophomore Cameron Mazziotta (Malvern,OH/Malvern HS) managed seven pars and a birdie on his way to a 40/43/83.  He had five pars and a birdie on his outward nine to get off to a great start, while freshman Taylor Enama (Stonecreek,OH/New Philadelphia HS) also had seven pars and birdie.  Enama finished with two pars and a birdie in his last five holes for an inward score of 42 and a round of 86 on the day.

"Much better results today on a course the guys all played well on in high school," said Coach Rob Brindley.  "It was a nice change of venue, but you always have to wonder how a team will react to playing on a course they really didn't have an advantage on since most of them hadn't played there in a couple of years.  Overall, I think they played very well," he added.  "It may be late in the season, but these guys are still grinding, striving for improvement and going to get really better in the off-season.  But, we are still focused on the prize and the state tournament next week," Brindley said.

The Golden Eagles will wrap up the 2014 season with play in the two-day Ohio Regional Campus Conference State Tournament.  On Friday, May 9, the first round will be hosted by UA Wayne at The Pines Golf Club in Orrville, Ohio, while the final round will be hosted by OSU Newark at The Links at Echo Springs in Granville, Ohio.

Final Standings -MU Hamilton 316, OSU Newark 325, KSU Tuscarawas 331, Eastern Gateway CC 361, UA Wayne 365, OU Zanesville 365, OU Chillicothe 384, OU Lancaster 402, MU Middletown 424.
 

Doug Fills Up His Umbrella and Chips From BunkerTaylor Lines Up a Water Logged PuttDarryns Chips Through a Lake

Season Ends How it Started

Golden Eagles Rained Out in ORCC State Tournament

5/10/14 by P. Wedge

The 2014 golf season came to an abrupt end for the Kent State Tuscarawas golf team, as rains forced the cancellation of both rounds of the Ohio Regional Campus Conference State Tournament.

Playing at The Pines Golf Club on Friday in Orrville, Ohio, the skies opened up after players logged just six holes of the 18-hole event.  Rain slowed the pace of play through the first several holes before heavy downpours created puddles on the greens forcing the tournament to be shortened to a one-day tournament on Saturday.

Saturday's round began early in the morning with the hope that the teams could beat the impending rain headed for The Links at Echo Springs in Johnstown, Ohio.  The wind and rain however, had other plans and struck again as the course was deluged with several passing waves of rain only to give way to a heavy shower that left greens un-puttable and many fairways drenched and almost impassable.  Most of the field completed less than seven holes before play was halted without a post season champion being crowned.

"What a frustrating way to end the season," said Coach Rob Brindley.  "The guys were excited to have one last shot this season at grabbing a championship or runner-up spot, but the weather once again was a factor and it prevailed.  This was probably one of the most frustrating seasons as far as weather goes," he added.  "And, it (postponement) always seems to happen when we are playing well. A couple of the guys had carded early birdies and really had an eye for the course on Saturday but it was all for naught.  All in all, we really came a long, long way this season and have to be proud of how we played.  We are a totally different team than the one that started the season," Brindley said.

The Golden Eagles will now turn their attention to summer drills and fall golf in order to get ready for next season.  Several of the Golden Eagles have already entered upcoming amateur tournaments for the summer.