Men’s golf to host HAAC tournament


Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

The men’s team hosts the conference tournament at its home course of Alvamar Golf Course in Lawrence on May 4 and 5. After finishing fifth in the Baker University Spring Invite on the same course, the Wildcats will look to take the conference tournament title like their female counterparts.

“I think we’re prepared and I think we’re excited to actually host conference,” senior Kelley Thompson said. “The freshmen on varsity are the most excited because they’ve never experienced hosting conference before.”

The men will play 54 holes over the two-day tournament, 36 on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. For Thompson this will be a great test after finishing second in the conference tournament last year.

“I want to do better than I did last year,” Thompson said. “Since I finished second last year, that means I have to come in first place to do so.”

Thompson was the leader after 36 holes in last season’s conference tournament at Indian Foothills, and on day two the course was a swamp. Thompson was tied going into hole 17 on day two and bogeyed to fall behind by one stroke. Thompson was playing with last year’s champion Tyler Barr from Culver-Stockton and on 18, Thompson had to beat Barr by one stroke. Barr finished out his par putt for the win before Thompson sunk his par to lose by one stroke.

As a senior, Thompson believes he can play just as well as last season.

“I feel like I’m extra motivated. Its my senior year and last college golf tournament,” Thompson said. “I want to play well and not just for myself but for the team.”

The team will feature five players including Thompson, senior Zach Pickett, junior Grant Grego, sophomore Christian Bickley, and freshman Zach Spencer. The five have continued to put in the extra work at practice and have been staying late almost every night over the past two weeks.

“I see everybody staying long after practice and actually want to do the work,” Thompson said. “I feel like after all the team has been through in the past couple weeks, and now that we have all that other stuff behind us, I think we’re going to play well.”

Baker will have to knock down reigning conference champion Culver-Stockton and beat Missouri Valley, who won the Spring Invite tournament at the beginning of the month. This could be Thompson’s last competitive tournament with a team, and he wants to go out with a bang.

“I feel confident that I can play well at Alvamar,” Thompson said. “I want to make it the most exciting tournament for my teammates.”