By Justin Maskulinski, Senior Staff Writer
After a seventh place finish in its first tournament, the Miami University golf team will look to improve Sunday and Monday in the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in Columbus.
Ohio State University hosts the invitational and it takes place on the Scarlet Course.
Some of the 'Hawks have seen the Scarlet Course before, and head coach Zac Zedrick thinks that can be an advantage.
"We've got guys with familiarity," Zedrick said. "I think that familiarity is going to help whoever is going that has not played [the Scarlet Course]. We were just there in April competing, so I think our knowledge is going to help us quite a bit."
The RedHawks are not the only team familiar with the course, so Zedrick has them focused on their play rather than the course itself.
"There are several teams that are going to be [at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational] that have seen [the Scarlet Course] a lot too," Zedrick said. "For us, it's going to come down to minimizing our mistakes."
Senior Luke Shaughnessy said after one tournament, he has found one area of his game he can improve on.
"I just need to improve on my wedge play to give me some more opportunities for birdies," Shaughnessy said. "Driving it better will also give me more opportunities. Other than that, I think I'll be more than ready for Ohio State's Tournament."
Shaughnessy said the 'Hawks will have an advantage having played a tough course last week at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate.
"[Playing tough courses] gets us really prepared," Shaughnessy said. "We want to see tough courses and we want to play in good tournaments with good fields. These are the opportunities that we're given and we're trying to make the best of them. Having played a tough course this past week at Wolf Run will really prepare us, compared to other teams, because we're used to the tough conditions. It won't be easy for us, but I think we'll be ready."
Zedrick agrees the 'Hawks experience at Wolf Run can assist them at the Scarlet Course.
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"I think it's great that we were able to play Wolf Run," Zedrick said. "The Scarlet is another demanding golf course, it demands a lot from you, but in different ways. The Scarlet is probably going to play longer than Wolf Run did. It's going to be another really strong test. I think we're going to have good week of practice and we'll be ready to go this weekend."
Shaughnessy made the goal for the RedHawks very clear.
"We're aiming to win this weekend," Shaughnessy said. "It's a goal every single weekend and we've put in a lot of effort to make that happen. That's our ultimate goal, but everyone's going to take care of their individual business. At the end of the day, all we can handle is ourselves on the golf course. Even though we are a team, it's an individual sport as well. So as long as we take care of what we need to do as individuals, we'll definitely come together as a team."