In its final competition of the season, the men's golf team showed its depth, getting quality performances from two freshmen who hadn't competed for the team before Sunday.
The Cardinals' goal heading into Sunday's dual shootout with Indiana was to get some of the younger members of the team some experience, as well as end the fall season on a good note. They accomplished both, beating Indiana by 12 strokes and showing consistency with rounds of 301 and 302.
"Our goal was to go in a post a pair of 300s regardless of what Indiana did," coach Mike Fleck said. "It was nice getting this win. It leaves a good taste in our mouths (heading into the off-season.)"
Juniors Brian Lassiter and Kenny Cook tied for first in the shootout with a two-round total of 147. Freshmen Bud Graessle and Mike Kassula, who had yet to compete in a tournament, contributed to the team's win. Graessle shot rounds of 80 and 77, and Kassula shot a second round 79.
One surprise for the team was the performance of freshman Lance Scholl. Scholl, the only freshman to compete in a tournament this year, competed in all four of the team's invitational, finishing in the top third in one of them.
However, on Sunday, his scores were not good enough in either round to count toward the team's total (only the top four of the six players' scores count).
"Lance had an off day," Fleck said. "That gave an opportunity for (sophomore) Justin Cross, Graessle and Kassula to step up, and they did a good job."
The performance of these three players shows the depth of the team, Fleck said. He felt this depth was a big factor in the team's win.
"The biggest thing we got out of this weekend is that we have a deep team," Fleck said. "We took some guys that weren't our first string, and we won. This reiterates that any of our 12 guys can step up and contribute at any time."
Having two consistent rounds also pleased Fleck, who has stressed consistency to his team all season. The Cardinals have struggled with it, though, shooting higher in their last round of every tournament except one.
"College golf is getting to the point where you can't afford to go out and have a bad round," Fleck said. "We need to work on that consistency in the off-season."
The team will take only a few days off before beginning their off-season regiment consisting of weight training and conditioning three days a week. Its spring season begins in early March.