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Golf team splits for West Virginia and Dayton tournaments

By Ben Molnar, The Miami Student

The Miami University golf team closes out their fall schedule with two tournaments this week, the West Virginia Mountaineer Intercollegiate and the Dayton Flyer Invitational.

Seniors Bud Radis and Jack Sparling, junior Greg Conrad, sophomore Patrick Flavin and redshirt freshman Brian Ohr will compete in West Virginia. Senior Daniel Schwarz will play as an individual.

The inaugural Mountaineer Intercollegiate features 13 teams: University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, University of Cincinnati, Marshall University, Mississippi State University, University of Missouri, Penn State University, Seton Hall University, St. John's University, University of Toledo, Towson University, University of Connecticut, West Virginia University and Miami.

The tournament site is the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, W.Va. None of MU's golfers have experience on the course, but they're keeping their approach simple, a common theme for the Red and White this season.

"None of us have played the course before," Sparling, the team captain, said. "We don't do anything different. We put in the same work at home and then get a good grasp of the course during the practice round each week."

Schwarz said the team can use the practice round to prepare for the new course, while Conrad said they must have an open mind and adjust to the ins and outs of the greens and fairways.

"By going into it with an open mind and developing a conservatively aggressive game plan, we can utilize our strengths at a new golf course," Conrad said.

Senior Bailey Truesdell, junior Jared Hammons and redshirt junior Satoshi Tanaka will travel separately to the Dayton Flyer Invitational at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio. Each is playing as an individual in the tournament.

The RedHawks have been a fairly streaky team this season. They tend to start out hot then falter and fall out of contention.

Schwarz mentioned the mental aspect of the game as a solution.

"We just have to stay even keel no matter what happens," Schwarz said. "We can't let our emotions get the best of us and we have to just move on to the next shot."

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Sparling said the squad needs to stay confident.

"Focus on working hard the next couple days and then go into those events with some confidence. We've got all the tools, we just need to stay patient and give ourselves a chance to win," Sparling said.

The RedHawks placed second out of 15 teams at the Badger Invitational in late September. Conrad said the team must use the same approach that gave them this success.

"Go in with a mindset just like we did for the first couple tournaments," Conrad said. "Going into this last week of the season, we want to get a successful week in our thoughts to go into the spring."

The Mountaineer tournament opens with 36 holes Monday, and the final 18-hole round is Tuesday. At the Dayton Invitational, teams will play a round of 18 holes on both Monday and Tuesday.