Golf Teams Open Spring Season Strong With Pair of Tournaments

Both the men’s and women’s teams got the new year underway.

Men’s Team Finishes Eighth in MAC/A-10 Challenge

The Loyola men’s golf team began their spring season Feb. 5 with an eighth place finish in the Mid-American Conference/Atlantic 10 Conference Challenge in Dade City, Florida. 

The Ramblers dropped both of their opening matches Monday as they fell in a close loss to Eastern Michigan University 3.5-2.5 and lost to Central Michigan University in the second round 4.0-2.0.

The first round saw Loyola second-year Ryan Walsh take his opening match early with fellow second-year Sebastian Kasun securing his match after a clutch birdie on the 9th hole. The other Ramblers couldn’t recreate the success as second-year Charlie Kulwin split his match, redshirt second-year Zach Mulhearn and first-year Jackson Overton both fell in their opening matches as Loyola lost against the Eagles.

Loyola’s second round saw them face another team of Michiganders against Central Michigan. The Ramblers didn’t find much success despite Ryan Walsh staying on par for the day with a victory along with Mulhearn getting his first win of the day. The remaining four Ramblers all failed to win their matches, knocking Loyola to a consolation match the following day after a 4.0-2.0 loss.

Following their losses in the first two rounds, the Ramblers were up bright and early Tuesday as they took on Ohio University in their final match of the challenge. 

After his brother Ryan had an undefeated opening day of the tournament, Zach was the Walsh who found victory Tuesday capturing his first win of the season, securing the victory six holes early after he shot three birdies and an eagle. 

The only other Rambler win on Tuesday came from Kasun who got his second win of the week. Loyola lost four of its matches for the second time in the challenge as Ryan Walsh suffered his only loss on the week while Overton, Mulhearn and Kulwin all left without a win.

Head coach Erik Hoops was disappointed with the team’s first performance of the season. 

“We were in every match this week,” Hoops wrote in a press release. “Losing 4.0-2.0 or 3.5-2.5 really just comes down to a couple holes going a different way. We’ve been working on a lot of things this offseason and I feel good about the changes we’ve made.” 

The men’s team has over a month to prepare for the upcoming Ross Collegiate Classic taking place March 11-12 in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Women’s Team Gets Rolling in Texas

After 36 holes of golf at the Texas State Invitational in Parkland, Texas, the Ramblers found themselves sitting strongly in 11th place. 

Fourth-year Abby Thielbar led Loyola in scoring on the first day shooting a 79 in her opening round and backing it up by shaving six strokes off her second round to finish only two-over par totaling 152 strokes, placing her 18th overall on the invitational.

Right behind her was third-year Cate Reisinger who put up strong rounds of 78 and 79 to find herself at 157 after day one and 38th in the tournament. The other Ramblers in the lineup — second-year Adie Maki, third-year Jolie Brochu and first-year Cassie Psuik — placed 43rd, 62nd and 64th, respectfully. On the solo side, fourth-year Kate Meier tied with Psuik in 64th after shooting 165 strokes.

After back-to-back 18-hole rounds, Loyola found themselves only three strokes behind Murray State in the top 10 heading into day two of the tournament totaling 315 strokes.

Loyola had an early start Tuesday as they joined the shotgun start at 8:15 a.m. to begin the second day of the competition. 

The Ramblers had a strong showing, shooting their lowest round of the week by knocking five strokes off the previous day’s score. With a round of 310 the Ramblers gave themselves a final total of 940 (315-315-310). 

Thielbar continued to impress, earning Loyola’s only top 25 individual finish after carding a 77 in her final round. She rounded out with a total of 229, earning her 19th place overall.

“The highlight of the week was Abby’s play,” head coach Brandy Johnston wrote in a press release. “She’s put in a lot of work in the offseason on both her swing and mental game and it showed in her results this week. I couldn’t be happier for her!” 

The other players didn’t falter either as Reisinger shot her lowest round score of the week at a 77 earning herself 36th place. Maki finished 47th and Psuik shot the lowest round of the day for Loyola after putting up a strong 76 strokes. Brochu ended in 61st, and on the individual side Meier ended her week in 71st after shooting an 86 in her final round. 

The Ramblers get a few weeks off before their next contest where they’ll head to the Rio Verde Invitational in Rio Verde, Arizona Feb. 23-25.

Featured image courtesy of Texas State Athletics

Nate Varda

Nate Varda