Men’s golf heads to Ohio to face off against top competition in the Dayton Invitational—the team’s final tournament of the fall season.
The Light Blue is coming off a strong start with two top-five finishes, including a top-ten finish against a strong field in California at the Nick Watney Tournament most recently. The ninth place finish was a positive showing given that the Lions finished in last place at the tournament last year.
“There were nine holes of the tournament we didn’t play well,” head coach Rich Mueller said of the team’s performance in the last half of the second round. “Other than that, we were in great shape. It was a pretty good performance—wasn’t our best, but certainly another step in the right direction.”
In the Watney tournament, Columbia was led by one of its newest members, as first-year Nick Brisebois shot the team’s best round with a one under par 70 to finish 31st for the invitational overall and second for the Lions. Brisebois was only bested by Lion’s top player this fall. Junior Joshua Suh, after top 20 and top five finishes this season, shot a 72 followed by two 73’s to finish 22nd.
“He hits it really far with every club,” Mueller said of Suh. “When you hit the ball straight and far, you make it a lot easier game. He just has a wedge into a hole rather than a six or seven iron, so inherently you’re hitting the ball closer.”
In order to continue to build on the season’s success, which Mueller believes is better than that of last fall, the Lions will need to rely on their strength in scoring. According to Mueller, the Light Blue have recorded more birdies than ever before and finished second and fifth in par three and five scoring, respectively, against the tough field in California.
Mueller believes that one of the reasons for the solid team performance this fall has been that the team has 11 players instead of the typical eight-player roster that has been common in the past.
“I think by default when you have more players, qualifying becomes more competitive,” Mueller said. “It definitely means something to make the starting team this year. Not that it hasn’t before—it just means more because there are 11 guys competing for five spots.”
The Lions tee off in Dayton, Ohio on the Dick Wilson-designed NCR Country Club Course Monday morning.