By Justin Maskulinski, Senior Staff Writer
The Miami University golf team kicked off their 2014 campaign with a seventh place finish at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate in Zionsville, Indiana.
The 15-team field featured teams from the Big Ten Conference, Southeastern Conference, and Mid-American Conference, among others.
The three-round tournament was won by the University of Illinois, which shot a final team score of 7 over par.
The RedHawks finished with a team score of 57 over par, just 10 strokes away from third place. The 'Hawks were led by freshman Patrick Flavin, who shot rounds of 74, 77 and 72 at the par-71 course en route to a tie for 13th place overall.
"I think number one is the team, and the team doing well," Flavin said. "The only way that's gonna help the team is if you play your best, and that's all you can control. I played really well, which is great. It's a good way to start off the year."
Head coach Zac Zedrick was impressed by the freshman's performance.
"I was really impressed [with Flavin]," Zedrick said. "First college tournament, first tournament of the year, one of the hardest golf courses we play. To perform like that, to be steady the whole weekend. I think it was the way [Flavin] wanted to get things started and I'm really happy for him, proud for him."
Flavin was followed by junior Jack Sparling (tied for 17th), senior Scott Cahill (tied for 28th), senior Luke Shaughnessy (tied for 43rd) and junior Bud Radis (tied for 74th).
The Red and White began the tournament with a team round of 297, putting them in a tie for fifth place after the first round. The second round was not completed until Sunday morning due to a weather delay. The 'Hawks followed up the first round with back-to-back rounds of 306 to place them in a tie for seventh place.
Zedrick does not think the weather delay had any effect on the 'Hawks performance.
"We only had a hole or two left in the second round," Zedrick said. "It was basically a shotgun start [Sunday], and nineteen to twenty holes of golf, depending on who you were. It had literally nothing to do with the finish."
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
Flavin thinks the delay assisted him.
"Being called off the course definitely helped me a little bit because I was able to refresh my mind and focus on every shot," Flavin said. "[Saturday] was my first ever time playing 36 holes in one day just non-stop so I was getting a little mentally tired."
Flavin does not think that the physical side of his game needs to be altered after his first collegiate golf tournament.
"I think staying mentally focused and staying mentally positive is going to be big for me," Flavin said. "A couple times during this tournament I got into a bad stretch of holes and that really cost me, so I think it's being able to limit my mistakes. If I do make a bogey or a double being able to recover and move on, not letting that carry on into holes."
Miami was the highest placing MAC school in the tournament, placing ahead of Eastern Michigan University (10th), the University of Akron (13th), Ball State University (14th) and Northern Illinois University (15th).
The 'Hawks head to Columbus next Sunday and Monday to play in the Jack Nicklaus Invitational.