Matt Smith, Campus Carrier Assistant Sports Editor
Ten players from the Vikings golf team competed in the George H. Bedwell Tournament at the Stonebridge Golf Club from Monday, April 14 to Tuesday, April 15.
Sophomore Joey Dando was the top ranked player for the Vikings, finishing eigth overall with a +13 par and a cumulative score of 157.
Sophomore Ty Hampel tied with Dando with a score of 157. Hampel also led the Vikings at the end of the first day, shooting a 77 and tying for 14th place. Freshman Thomas Buckner finished third for the Vikings and 22nd overall with a 19-over par and a cumulative score of 163.
|Chelsea Hoag, Assistant Photojournalism Editor
Ryan Elmore putts on hole three during the George H.
Bedwell Tournament at the Stonebridge Golf Club on
Monday. Only 10 players from the team competed in
the tournament, but the team will compete together
on April 25 for the conference championships.
Sophomore Jacob Paquet placed fourth for the Vikings and tied for 23rd overall with a 20-over par and a final cumulative score of 164. Freshman Thomas Hoemeke tied with freshman Tyler Shepard for fifth for the Vikings and 26th overall with a 21-over par and a final cumulative score of 165.
Shepard said there was bad weather during the game that impacted the team’s play.
“The conditions we played in were extremely difficult, and you had to really manage your game to stay away from big numbers while trying to sneak a birdie or two in.” Shepard said. “There were some really great shots hit however, and they felt even better than usual just knowing how tough the course was playing. The greens were rolling great this week, and I happened to make a couple of bombs for birdie. On [hole] six, I made a long birdie putt to a tough pin location following a very poor hole and that helped get my momentum kick started again.”
At the end of the event, the University of the Cumberlands from Kentucky placed first, going 32-over par and finishing with a score of 608.
Lindsey Wilson College from Kentucky placed second with a final score of 631, going 56-over par. Young Harris College from Georgia placed third, carrying a final score of 632 and also finish 56-over par. Birmingham-Southern College from Alabama placed fourth, finishing with a score of 661 and ending 85-over par. Hiwasse College from Tennessee came in fifth with a final score of 670, walking away 94-over par. Bob Jones University from South Carolina finished in sixth place with a score 676, ending the competition 100-over par.
Dando was happy with the Vikings’ efforts and was proud of the strengths that each individual person brought with them.
“Most teams have a 10 man roster, and there are five or six guys that will make the A-team,” Dando said. “Our team has 16 guys, and there are around nine guys who could make the A-team. The most impressive thing is that we’ve had four freshmen on the A team at different times this season.”
Hampel said he was proud of the team for keeping a positive attitude at the match despite the poor weather conditions.
“The weather stole the show completely,” Hampel said. “We played in very cold, rainy, and windy conditions, making it very difficult to play. Having a positive attitude was critical. I was able to do that on my 10th hole when I played from the hazard with my feet nearly in a lake. I was able to save par on a hole that played way over par.”
Dando said he thought the match had several highlights despite the conditions and difficult playing challenges.
“I chipped in a birdie on the 13th hole to get my round going,” Dando said. “Birdies were rare due to the hurricane we were playing in, but I managed to find three on Tuesday.”
The Berry Vikings’ Men’s Golf Team will compete next at the Southern Athletic Association Championships, which is a three day event that begins on April 25 at the Chateau Elan Golf Club in Braseltin, Ga.