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RedHawks finish 14th in Robert Kepler Invitational

By Justin Maskulinski
On April 14, 2014

The Miami University golf team competed in the Robert Kepler Invitational over the weekend in Columbus and placed 14th in the 15th team field.

The field of competition was loaded with competitiveness, as five of the teams were nationally ranked heading into the tournament.

No. 5 Georgia Tech and No. 18 University of Alabama at Birmingham held spots in the top 20, while No. 31 Kent State University, No. 34 University of Nevada-Las Vegas, No. 36 Liberty University and No. 47 Northwestern University also entered the tournament ranked.

Miami head coach Zac Zedrick said the 'Hawks were able to see where they stand amongst those teams.

"Anytime you can play a course that has hosted regional and national championships and play against that kind of field it's a great measuring stick," Zedrick said. "Anytime you can play against teams that are ranked in the top 5, 25, 50; a lot of those teams are going to be playing full season golf."

The 'Hawks began the tournament Saturday with a first round of 24-over-par. The RedHawks shot one stroke higher in the second round, to put them at 49-over-par as a team after two.

Sunday, the 'Hawks shot six strokes better, a 19-over-par round as a team.

Zedrick said the team continuously builds up to the Mid-American Conference championship every tournament, and he does not think this low finish altered the 'Hawks flying pattern.

"I think it was definitely a step forward, especially [Sunday]," Zedrick said. "[Saturday] was probably a little bit of a wakeup call. It's hard to replicate a golf course and conditions as difficult as the Scarlet [course]. We probably haven't seen a course that hard since Rich Harvest farms in September. No other way to put it really, other than that it just kind of caught our attention."

Zedrick said despite the low finish, the 'Hawks were able to hang tough in competitive field.

"We came out and played much better [on Sunday]," Zedrick said. "I think the guys still would have liked to play better than we did, but when you look at performance in relation to the field, it was kind of a mix of just about everyone, except for Georgia Tech, who played fantastic today. Rebounding [on Sunday] was definitely a step forward."

Senior Mark MacDonald led the 'Hawks, finishing tied for 42nd in the 81-man field. MacDonald shot 14-over-par for the tournament. He shot 76 in the first and third rounds, and a 75 in the second round.

MacDonald said the tournament was a measuring stick as well and thinks it will help the 'Hawks moving forward.

"The course was tough, the conditions were tough, the field was by far the best field we've played in all year," MacDonald said. "It lets us know where we're at, and where we can get going."

The 'Hawks will be back at it this weekend, as they compete in the Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind.

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