On Saturday, the Lincoln College men’s golf team finished up the final round of the 2-day, 36-hole tournament hosted by Olivet Nazarene University at the Kankakee Elks Country Club in St. Anne, IL. The 6,430-yard par-72 course played much differently on day two as scores from all five teams were 10 shots higher on average per team. The start time time was pushed back two hours due to heavy rains on Friday night, giving the grounds crew time to get the course playable. The crews did an outstanding job as the course in very good playing condition despite the rains. Saturday began with a few early sprinkles before the clouds disappeared and the sun popping through, which created higher wind speeds for the players to deal with. Gusts up to 20mph made the course play much more difficult on the final round. One positive from the windy conditions was it kept the bugs and mosquitoes away.
The University of St. Francis took the team title with a 296 – 305 for a total of 601. Lincoln College took 3rd place with a team score of 308 – 315 for a total of 623. Olivet’s Huston Gass also took the individual title with rounds of 71 (1-under) and 75 for a two-day total of 146.
For the Lynx, Hunter Bettis continued his hardware collection as he took 3rd place with a two-day score of 72 (even par) and 78 for 150. Bettis, a sophomore from Bluffs, IL and returning NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American, has finishes of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the three tournaments so far this fall.
Freshman Jack White, a graduate from Lincoln High School, shot two 78’s for a two-day total of 156 good enough for an 11th place tie. White had two birdies on the day coming on holes 9 and 17.
Sophomore Hunter Leach (Glasford, IL) had an excellent bounce-back round and was one of only a hand full of players with lower scores on the tougher day-two track. Leach finished with four birdies on the 1st, 3rd, 11th, and 13th holes. Leach shot 3-over-par 75 and had a two-day total of 158 (T-16).
Sophomore Cody Curry (Mason City, IL) finished the event with a 76-84 = 160 (T-20). Curry had two birdies on his final round. Fellow Sophomore Josh Matthews (Delavan, IL) had a final round 86 to go along with his Friday 82 for a two-day score of 168 (T-25).
“We had higher goals than what we finished heading into our final round, but the course played very differently than it did on Friday,” said head coach Jeff Nelson. “I was very happy to see Hunter Leach play up to his capabilities on Saturday, especially since he was battling a head cold and chills. Overall, I thought the guys played ok, but I think they all realize they got room to improve, especially around and on the greens. We’ve got a couple of weeks off before we host the MWAC conference tournament on our home course (Sunday, September 25). The MWAC is a very unique and fun tournament for the guys to play as it is done in a Ryder-cup style of play. Hopefully, we’ll have the home course advantage and come away with the team win.”
As mentioned, the next tournament will be the MWAC Conference tournament on Sunday, September 25 at the Lincoln Elks Country Club. The event is a 36-hole event with tee times beginning at 9:30am and then again at approximately 2:00pm. Players will partner up for the first nine holes playing a 2-man scramble. The first round back nine will be played alternate shot. After a brief lunch break, the players will tee it up for a 2-man best ball follwed by a final nine hole individual round.