Though normally the villain, the wind proved to be an ally for the Dixie State University men’s golf team in its first win of the season.
After practicing nearly every day in the wind for the last few weeks, the Trailblazers took their best knock-down shots and wind-breakers, Monday and Tuesday, to the University of San Diego SoCal Intercollegiate held at the Carlton Oaks Golf Club in Santee, California.
In a 15 team field that had schools anywhere from Mississippi to Hawaii, DSU managed to land every one of its players inside the top 15. With the whole team finishing within four strokes of each other, the Trailblazers put together an impressive final team score of 881 (+17), two strokes better than second place.
“I love to win!” said Dane Nelson, a junior exercise science major from Farmington.
Freshman Jayce Frampton led the charge with impressive rounds of 76-73-71 to shoot an overall score of 220 (+4) to finish tied for 8th. Frampton said overall he and the team played really well this week and capitalized on opportunities to score when they presented themselves.
“Like [our] coach said, our behavior on the course was awesome,” said Frampton, a business major from Centerville.
John Reid, a sophomore general studies major from Westminster, Maryland, said the team entered the tournament with a big advantage and extra confidence. Because the wind picks up every day at practice, Reid said the team has become acclimated to this style of golf. He said you just have to keep trying because every stroke counts.
Now that DSU appears to be firing on all cylinders, the Trailblazers will try to continue to their top play as they seek to navigate their way into the possibility of playing in nationals.
Currently sitting in the 10th and final available spot for region qualifying, head coach Brad Sutterfield said it’s important the team keeps working hard even after a victory like this because of what lies ahead.
“Yeah, I don’t think we will ever be comfortable with the next two events,” Sutterfield said. “We have got to keep the peddle down and have good showings. We kind of try to put those things in the back of your mind, but obviously you need to think about them.”
Sutterfield further added that the team will enjoy the victory over the next day or two and will get right back at it as the team aims for further and higher accomplishments. He said he was really impressed by his team and the amount of fight they had in them.
James Avis, a freshman finance major from Brisbane, Australia, said there is nothing the coach needs to do to motivate the players on this team to keep up the great play. The team is self-driven individually and collectively, he said.
The Trailblazers will try to blaze the field once more in possible back-to-back victories in the upcoming Stanislaus State Invitational in Turlock, California on April 10 and 11.