Opening their spring season, Northwestern men’s golf team battled at Primm in Las Vegas, Nev. Ryan Christy, a junior Orange City native, referred to the experience as beautiful.
“The view we had from the course was so majestic,” Christy said. “We were surrounded by mountains in the desert. Besides the views, the atmosphere competing at a big event in Las Vegas elevated our focus just a little bit more than playing in an event near Orange City.”
There were 18 teams in attendance at the 54-hole event, and many of those teams own top spots in the nation. NW finished in a three-way tie to place 10th.
The Red Raiders shot 910 [315/290/305], just one shot shy of the No. 5 seed British Columbia.
Wayland Baptist claimed first place, followed by Keiser in second.
Leading our Red Raiders was Justin Kraft. The sophomore finished at 19th place out of a total 90 golfers in attendance. Christy became the next Red Raider to place, sharing 44th place in a tie. Sophomore Evan Schuler and freshman Zach Riddle also tied, finishing at 67th place and 73rd place, respectively. Lastly, Colton Kooima, the sophomore dual-athlete, finished placing 81st.
“I would say our full swings were better than they’ve ever been, which a lot of that credit has to be given to our new Juffer facility,” head coach Aaron Aberson said. “However, short game shots and adjusting to the greens is where we came up a bit short of where we would’ve liked to be.”
The new facility seems to already be a beneficial investment, and the players co-signed that as well.
“Our swings were actually pretty solid after being able to focus on some swing changes over the winter in the Juffer Athletic Fieldhouse,” Christy said. “It was clear the facility was a huge help for us. Overall, we finished just one or two strokes from about three of the top ten teams in the nation.”
The golf team has a slim lead in the conference. They look to continue improving to hold off Doane and Midland. The Red Raiders will be hosting their annual Spring Invite on April 7 at Landsmeer Golf Club.