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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.