Golf team eyeing run at NCAA title

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Golf team eyeing run at NCAA title

(left to right)  2018 O’Briant-Jensen Memorial Tournament individual champion Drew Mathers poses with Guilford Louis Lambert, sophomore Jack Hill and junior James Mishoe as members of the All-Tournament Team. The Quakers won the tournament for the first time since 2011.//Photo by Katy Holt/Guilford Athletics

(left to right) 2018 O’Briant-Jensen Memorial Tournament individual champion Drew Mathers poses with Guilford Louis Lambert, sophomore Jack Hill and junior James Mishoe as members of the All-Tournament Team. The Quakers won the tournament for the first time since 2011.//Photo by Katy Holt/Guilford Athletics

Katy Holt

(left to right) 2018 O’Briant-Jensen Memorial Tournament individual champion Drew Mathers poses with Guilford Louis Lambert, sophomore Jack Hill and junior James Mishoe as members of the All-Tournament Team. The Quakers won the tournament for the first time since 2011.//Photo by Katy Holt/Guilford Athletics

Katy Holt

Katy Holt

(left to right) 2018 O’Briant-Jensen Memorial Tournament individual champion Drew Mathers poses with Guilford Louis Lambert, sophomore Jack Hill and junior James Mishoe as members of the All-Tournament Team. The Quakers won the tournament for the first time since 2011.//Photo by Katy Holt/Guilford Athletics

Guilford College has finished in sixth place in both of their tournament this spring. After a sixth place finish at The Club at Savannah Harbor Classic, they finished sixth at the Jekyll Island Intercollegiate two weeks later.

Not only have the Quakers finished sixth in their two tournaments, they are ranked sixth in the most recent Golfstat rankings.

Guilford was in third place in The Club at Savannah Harbor Classic before they missed a lot of shots on the final four holes.

“The last round and the last four holes really we threw away ten shots, which slid us back to sixth),” said Head Coach Adam Crawford. “There was a little bit of a disappointed with that.”

In the Jekyll Island Intercollegiate, the team did not have a repeat of the previous event in the final holes and closed well to finish in sixth.

“We kind of got off to a little bit of a slow start, I felt like as a 54-hole event probably the first 32 holes, 33 holes we kind of set ourselves behind the eight-ball,” said Crawford. “I felt like we closed those last four holes where we struggled in Savannah. In the second round at Jekyll we finished strong over those last four holes and built some momentum .”

Even with the momentum in the second round, they were sitting in 13th place, 17 shots behind Emory university.

“After the second round we were still in 13th place out of 30 with one round to go,” said Crawford. “Our mindset was just try to go out and shoot the low round of the day and see how far we can move up the leaderboard.”

The Quakers shot a 288 in the final round, fifth-best on the day to move up seven spots.

Guilford is led by junior James Mishoe who is ranked as the best player in Division II by Golfstat. He averages 70.71 strokes per round and has finished in the top six places of all seven tournaments so far this season. Mishoe is still trying to win a tournament this season and has finished three times.

“He’s just so consistent,” said Crawford. “He works  so hard at golf and he takes it very seriously and consequently he’s reaping those rewards.”

Senior Josh Hill sits at 15th in the country with an average 72.53 strokes per round.

The team of eight not only competes in the events, but compete during the weeks to travel to the events.

“My job as a coach is to who’s going to give our program the best chance that particular week to be the most successful.”

The team has faced some of the best teams in Division II so far and that will continue at their next two events. The team travels to Montgomery, Ala. for the Wynlake Invitational on April 1-2. The event is hosted by  number two Huntingdon College. On April 20 the Quakers will visit current number-one ranked Emory University for the Emory Spring Invitational in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

“The next two events we play in are the top two teams in the country are the hosts, so kind of like when we host our event, you’re expectation is you want to protect your home course advantage, I think in golf more so than probably  a lot of other sports that home advantage is very crucial just because of the intricacies of golf courses and the knowledge.”

Although the team’s goal is to win the upcoming events, they’re focusing on improving for the national championship.

“Our expectations never change and I feel like we have the team capable of doing it,” said Crawford. “Our mindset really is just to continue and work every day and if you can get a little better every day, by the end of the year we should be pretty good.”

Last year the team finished fifth in the NCAA Championship for their second straight top-five finish. This year the team is looking to best that and try and get their third Division III golf championship.