METROSPORTSREPORT.COM- Peosta, IA-- Kirkwood is in third place, just four shots out of the lead after the first of the Clarke Fall Classic at the Thunder Hills Country Club. St. Ambrose (307) holds the lead after the first day on the par-71 layout. Dubuque Blue (309) is second, followed by Kirkwood at 311. Hunter Van Veen of DMACC leads the individual race after shooting a 71. Kirkwood's Dan Cuttcomp is tied for second after shooting 75. The tournament concludes Monday with a 9 a.m. start.
1. St. Ambrose 307, 2. Dubuque Blue 309, 3. Kirkwood 311, 4. Viterbo 316, 5. NIACC 317, 6. DMACC 320, 7. Clarke 324, 8. Southwest Tech 338, 9. Iowa Wesleyan 339, 10. Dubuque White 347, 11. Clarke II 357, 12. Palmer 371
METROSPORTSREPORT.COM- CEDAR RAPIDS, IA-- Kirkwood Men's Golf finished fourth out of 22 teams at the Mount Mercy Invitational Sunday at Hunters Ridge. First place, Illinois Wesleyen, had a team score of 567. Mount Mercy and Grand View each had 570, Kirkwood was fourth at 584. Coe finished 22nd at 684. Kirkwood's best individual finishers were Blaine Buhr 71-73=144 (finishing 12th overall), Dan Cutkomp 73-72=145 (15th), and Aleix Riera Garcia 75-71=146 (19th).
1. Illinois Wesleyan 567, 2. (tie) Mount Mercy 570, Grand View 570, 4. Kirkwood 584, 5. AIB 589, 6. Cardinal Stritch 592, 7. Grand View 'B' 600,8. St. Francis 601, 9. Simpson 607, 10. Viterbo 615.11. (tie) Black Hawk 619, Wartburg 619, 13. Mount Mercy Gold 622, 14. DMACC 631, 15. Walforf 634, 16. Loras 635, 17. Buena Vista 637, 18. Missouri Valley 638, 19. Clarke 647, 20. St. Mary's 658, 21. Viterbo Silver 665, 22. Coe 684.
Eagles get on roll by winning last two tournaments before Region XI Tournament
The Kirkwood Eagles golf team finished the regular season on a high note and now look to claim the NJCAA DII Region XI Tournament championship for the third year in a row.
The Eagles (45-12) started the season ranked fourth in the country and have lived up to the hype despite having a majority of freshmen on the team. With only four golfers that had experienced the pressures of playing at the collegiate level, the younger members of the team needed to step up to tee with confidence in their abilities. According to Head Coach Darin Pint, the Eagles have improved over the course of the season and have a good mixture of veteran leadership and young talent.
"This team is younger than last year's team," said Pint. "I think we've gotten better as the season has gone on but it took a little while for guys to understand that the weather can't be used as an excuse. Four different freshmen have finished in the top five in one tourney or another throughout this spring. Last year we had all sophomores in the top five so our freshman class definitely has some talent. The postseason is a different atmosphere though. We need to be prepared mentally for us to do something in the postseason."
Fittingly, a pair of freshman and sophomore standouts has led the team on the course this season. Freshman Nathan Chilcott (Vale of Glamorgan, Wales) is currently ranked 32nd in the country and has three individual wins this year. In addition, he boasts a 74.22 scoring average. Sophomore Ryan Palser (Creston, Iowa) is ranked 69th nationally with five top-10 finishes and a 75.58 scoring average. Both Chilcott and Palser figure to be major factors as the team prepares for a championship run.
Last year, Kirkwood placed fourth in the nation following the national tournament. According to Pint, the team will need to maintain focus and play with a team mentality in order to have a chance to repeat the success of last year.
"Now is the time to play our best golf," said Pint. "You don't get any second chances. I expect them to compete and play for each other. That is all. We'll see where that takes us."
The NJCAA DII Region XI Tournament will take place at Lake Panorama Golf Club in Panora, Iowa from May 3-4.