It is the beginning of October and the middle of the golf season for the Trojans’ golf team.
The men’s team has continued their fine groove of form from the past decade in their three events so far this year, collecting two wins and finishing third in a 13-team field of all Division I teams.
After the first three tournaments that Taylor took part in, their Men’s team had an average score of 286 that ranks them as one of the lowest scoring teams in the league.
“I’m very excited for my future, and for the team's future. We’ve been playing really well and have shown that we can compete with the best teams in the country.” said Junior Drew Pickering,
Pickering shot a Taylor University record-breaking score of 63 at The Players Club Invitational earlier this year – cementing his place in the history books.
With a lineup that features three freshmen, the women’s team has a youthful look to it. The sole returning senior is bringing stability to the starting five. Senior Nicole Jung, an All-American last season, has finished in the top-five in all four tournaments.
“It's been tough having young players that don't have experience on the golf courses we play regularly every year and at the college level,” Jung said. “But I believe in our team and we will embrace every challenge thrown at us.”
However, the freshmen on the women’s team have contributed greatly, and freshman Ellie Beavins won the team’s first tournament of the season.
“The Crossroads League championship is a long way off, so right now we’re really just focusing on getting better and learning with every practice and every tournament,” said Head Coach Cam Andry. “I think both teams will have a great chance to compete for a Crossroads League title when the time comes if we continue to focus on getting better every day and growing with every tournament experience.’
These qualities were on display at the most recent golf tournament, the Battle at Blackthorn. The men’s team dominated the field from the outset. They went on to post a pair of under-par rounds that rounded off a very businesslike approach. Austin Davis was the pick of the bunch and was rewarded with his first win.
“(Austin’s) worked extremely hard and he has a very clear picture of how he plays the game and he doesn’t waver from that. We got solid play from all five guys and it produced a dominant victory,” Andry said.
The women’s team was just as impressive. On a tough and demanding course, with a team that included three players that never saw the course before the first day of the tournament, the women played solidly in the first round and were tied for first heading into the second day. They came out firing on all cylinders to start the second day and never looked back, shooting a blistering 292 and blowing the field away.
While the Crossroads League Championship is still a ways off, the team is evidently focused on winning it once again.
“I think our team has what it takes to win the crossroads league,” said Jung. “We will gain more experience as the year goes on and be ready to go when the conference tournament rolls around in the spring. ”She went on to cite that their main competitors were Indiana Wesleyan and Bethel, both of which she deemed beatable.
The Trojans will next play at the Harbor Shores Intercollegiate Tournament on Oct. 4.