By Justin Maskulinski, Senior Staff Writer
While every other Miami University fall sports team has at least two competitive events under their belt, the Miami golf team is just getting started.
This weekend in Zionsville, Indiana the 'Hawks kick off their six-and-a-half week fall campaign.
Head coach Zac Zedrick hopes the late start will prevent a slow start for the Red and White.
"It's just plenty of time to practice and prepare," Zedrick said. "Last season our first event was so close to the start of the year. It almost felt like it took us one or two events to get our competitive legs under us a little bit."
The RedHawks will begin their season at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate, a course where they finished 6th in a 14 team field last fall.
Seniors Scott Cahill and Luke Shaughnessy played this course last fall for the 'Hawks, and junior Jack Sparling has higher expectations for this season.
"[Our expectation is] to win," Sparling said. "Always the goal is to go into the tournament and give ourselves a chance to win. We've got a good squad going this week and we're all excited, everyone's playing well. We're looking forward to giving ourselves a chance to win going into the last day and bringing home some hardware."
The "squad" that Sparling refers to will be the five man team of himself, Cahill, Shaughnessy, junior Bud Radis and freshman Patrick Flavin.
Zedrick said the choice to bring along Flavin was, "no decision."
"[Flavin] earned his way," Zedrick said. "We had two separate qualifying tournaments and took the winner from each of the qualifying tournaments and then the top three players for all of the rounds who didn't win one of the tournaments. Patrick won the first tournament."
Sparling thinks the late start allowed the freshmen, Flavin and Brian Ohr, to adjust to college life.
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"I think [the late start] allows for the freshmen to get settled in, which is good," Sparling said. "We have one freshman playing this weekend at Wolf Run, so I think it's given him some time to get acclimated to the new schedule and to get settled into college. We all know that's a big transition."
Flavin and Ohr were not the only ones to benefit from the late start.
"I think it's nice to get settled in with your classes and establish a relationship with your teachers," Sparling said.
The goal for the 'Hawks in the two weeks following Wolf Run is to remain focused, as they begin their season with three consecutive events.
"I don't think anyone is really going to be getting ahead of themselves because the golf courses we're playing are really, really hard," Zedrick said. "Especially Wolf Run, Wolf Run is the kind of place where you really have gotta be locked in on what's in front of you. I think the quality of the events that we're playing; I think everyone is going to be pretty pumped up for what's right in front of them."