The tournaments marked the first chance to see new Ramblers in action.
Men’s and Women’s Golf Get 2023-24 Season Started
Both Loyola’s men’s and women’s golf teams started their 2023-24 seasons last week as the men’s team tied for 11th place and the women’s team finished in 13th in their first tournaments of the new year.
With both teams fielding younger rosters following the graduation of several key members at the end of last season, the tournaments marked the first chance to see new Ramblers in action.
Walsh and Kasun Shine in North Carolina
The men’s roster traveled to Davidson, North Carolina Sept. 11-12 to compete in the River Run Collegiate hosted by Davidson College, where they faced off against 13 other schools from around the country.
Fifth-year Zach Walsh put his wealth of collegiate experience on display and led the charge for the Ramblers. Walsh went on a tear in his last round of the tournament, recording a career-low score of 67.
In the final round, Walsh shot five birdies, helping Loyola climb the leaderboard to finish in 11th place after starting the second day of competition in 13th. The performance was good enough to catapult him up the individual leaderboard to finish in 48th out of 70 competitors with a final score of 222 (74-81-67).
Second-year Sebastian Kasun was the best overall performer for the Ramblers, placing 28th individually. Kasun finished the tournament with a score of 217 (73-74-70) after shooting an even-par in his final round.
Second-year Charlie Kulwin finished the event just one stroke behind Kasun shooting a 218 (70-75-73), good enough for a 32nd overall individual placing. Second-year Ryan Walsh and redshirt second-year Zach Mulhearn rounded out the team’s performance as Walsh finished with a 223 (71-76-76) and Mulhearn posted a 229 (76-72-81).
Strong performances on the second day made up for a slow start in the early rounds, but the Ramblers could not make up more than a few ranks as they finished tied for 11th with Appalachian State University.
Head coach Erik Hoops said in a Loyola Athletics press release he was happy with how the team turned things around on the tournament’s second day.
“Yesterday we were obviously a little disappointed with our first few rounds but the guys didn’t hang their heads but came out today in a good headspace and played much better,” Hoops said. “We were very close to finishing quite a few spots higher this week, but that’s golf some days.”
Radford University won the team championship with an impressive final total of 834 and East Carolina University’s Carter Busse took home the individual honors carding a 200 (68-64-68).
The Ramblers will have two weeks off before they travel to Des Moines, Iowa to compete in the Zach Johnson Invite Sept. 25-26, hosted by Drake University.
Adie Maki Gets New Year Off to a Quick Start
The Loyola women’s golf team was among 17 teams who made the trip to Springfield, Missouri to square off in the Payne Stewart Invitational hosted by Missouri State University, ending the tournament in 13th place.
Second-year Adie Maki led the way for the Ramblers, finishing tied for 23rd place individually. Maki carded a new career-low round score in the final round where she finished with 72 bringing her to a career-best total score of 223 (76-75-72).
Head coach Brandy Johnston told Loyola Athletics Maki’s performance was the highlight of the week for her.
“It felt like she was on the verge of some great golf when she was sidelined with an injury late in the spring this past season so it’s exciting to see her play at this level,” she said.
Following Maki was fourth-year Abby Thielbar who wrapped up the tournament in 51st place individually with a final score of 231 (76-76-79). Finishing just behind Thielbar with a 235 (82-80-73) was third-year Cate Reisinger who improved her score by seven strokes in the final round to secure a 61st place finish.
First-years Cassie Psuik and Grace Durkin also chimed in with good performances, finishing just a stroke apart in what was both of their first collegiate appearances. Psuik posted a final score of 239 (81-76-82) while Durkin finished with a 240 (75-84-81).
Johnston said she thought the tournament was a good start to the season for the team.
“The field was strong, the course was challenging, and it showed us what we need to work on,” she said. “Our team scores each day were fairly decent but we had at least one round a day that was too high for the caliber of players we have right now.”
Oral Roberts University took first place as a team finishing with a final combined score of 868, and Sofia Chabon of California Baptist University took home the individual crown with a final score of 208 (71-68-69).
The Ramblers will next play Oct. 2-3 in Indianapolis as they take part in Butler University’s Butler Fall Invitational.
Featured image credit to Steve Woltmann | Loyola Athletics