Red Hawk’s Conference Disaster
By: Eric Norris
Out of the eight teams that traveled to Redding, California, all left disappointed. A few teams left more frustrated than others such as the home team, the Simpson Red Hawks. Every year the location changes to each team’s home course, this year it was played at Gold Hills course. Naturally, the men’s and women’s golf teams practiced five days a week studying meticulously each hole of the course, in the end it wouldn’t be enough.
Even with the home course advantage the Red Hawks were faced with more talented schools such as the Embry-Riddle Eagles, Providence Christian College, Benedictine University- Mesa, Park University- Gibert and Marymount College. The Red Hawks beat two schools, CSU-Maritime and Sierra Nevada College. Unfortunately for the women, they did not make a full team and had to play as individuals versus the field.
The first day of the tournament, the worst factor that plagued every team was the wind. The week before the tournament, it was a warm, sunny 85 degrees, but today it was 58 degrees and 25-30 mph gusts that never stopped. In many collegiate NAIA tournaments, the low round of the first day would be around even par or -1, but the low round on Monday shot by two players was +4, 76. Trevor Lewis from the Eagles and Cameron Hedge from Benedictine according to golfstat.com. The Red Hawks teed off later in the morning and dealt with the wind quite a bit more resulting in higher scores. The best of these higher scores would come from first-year Andrew Scott scoring a 93, +21. After the round he said,
“Even at my home course, that wind made me feel so out of sync. I struggled to control the ball flight.”
Day’s two and three proposed nicer weather for both the men and women but not nicer scores. The Red Hawks greatly struggled with pitch shots around the greens more than anything. They were never used to the greens firming up as much as they were. During the year while tournaments were not happening, the putting greens would be soft and spiny for the players to get a lot of check up on shots, meaning the ball would stop sooner. But during the tournament many players besides the Red Hawks relied too much on trying to make the ball spin, which wouldn’t work because the greens were too firm.
The Cal Pac didn’t go as planned even with the amount of preparation that was put in. Jaxon Moon, another first-year student, summarized his rounds by saying,
“The course played harder than what I was used to. I usually have easy shots into greens where I can make low scores, but I didn't execute well.”
For the men they finished as followed out of 40 players, T18th Andrew Scott +32, 24th Felipe Ferreira, 29th Jaxon Moon +59, 30th Eric Norris +67, 31st Phillip Boit +69.
For the women they finished as followed out of 31 players, 10th Arianna Castaneda +59, T11th Mya Chao +60, 14th Michelle Eaun +63.