GRU golf battles stiff opposition

Photo Credit to Haley Harris

Photo Credit to Haley Harris.

Both GRU Augusta golf programs have been spending the spring season testing their strength against top notch competition.

The women’s golf team recently wrapped up a two-day tournament at the Briar’s Creek Country Club March 24-25 in John’s Island S.C. The Briar’s Creek Invitational was hosted by the College of Charleston and 17 teams participated. Out of the 17 squads, five of them were ranked in the top 50 Golfstat.com women’s rankings.

Entering the tournament GRU was one of the ranked competitors, placed at No. 34 in the polls. And after the opening rounds GRU sat at first place on the scoreboard.

In the first 36 holes of play GRU climbed atop the scoreboard with a team score of 596 (+20). Heading the charge was freshman Josefine Nyqvist, shooting a 1-over 73 in the second round to tie for eighth among individuals.

Behind GRU after day one was East Carolina (600), followed by Clemson (601), Texas Tech (602) and East Tennessee State (603).

The next day GRU not only had to battle its opponents, but also high winds and moisture. During the finals phases of the tourney the team slipped in the standings to finish fourth in the 17-team field event. GRU turned in a final score of 895 after a total 54 holes of action.

Nyqvist continued to lead the way in the closing rounds by finishing the tournament tied for ninth. Senior Casey Kennedy shot a 2-over 74 in the final rounds to tie for 15th overall, while freshman Jessica Haigwood was right behind Kennedy tied for 18th with a 2-over 74.

Amid the same time period the women’s team contended in the Briar’s Creek Invitational the men’s team was in Awendaw, S.C. for the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate at the Bulls Bay Golf Club hosted by South Carolina.

The tourney lasted from March 23-25, and the 15-team field consisted of five clubs placed in the top 50 Golfstat.com rankings.

Under the leadership of new men’s golf head coach Jack O’Keefe, the team opened the contest tied for 12th with USC Aiken. Senior Alex Wennstam and junior Cody Shafer highlighted the opening rounds for GRU.

Wennstam and Shafer both scored a 1-under 71 to tie for 18th among individuals. Wennstam fired four birdies and Shafer sunk six in the first day.

During the second day GRU was able to move up to 10th on the leaderboard behind the stroke of Wennstam and his 4-over 76 posting.

In the final day of the Intercollegiate GRU continued its climb up the standings to clinch eighth in the event, and all five players for GRU shot under par for a strong finish.

The team ended the tourney with a total score of 876, and Auburn won the overall team event at 12-under par.

Men’s and women’s golf will both take the greens again April 5-6. The men’s team will host the 3M Augusta Invitational at the Forest Hills Golf Club. And the women’s program is set to travel to Oxford, Miss. for the Rebel Intercollegiate hosted by Ole Miss.