By Ben Molnar, The Miami Student
The Miami University Men's golf team finished eighth out of 11 teams at the Erin Hills Intercollegiate Tournament in Erin, Wisconsin. The team posted a 12-over par round of 300 on Tuesday, concluding the three-day tournament with a final score of 888, 24-over par.
Southern Methodist University controlled first place through all three rounds and won the event with a score of 13-under par.
Senior Bud Radis led the RedHawks, tying for 17th place overall with a 1-over par score. Sophomore Patrick Flavin finished 6-over par to tie for 28th place. Senior captain Jack Sparling finished in 35th place overall (+9), while senior Daniel Schwarz junior Greg Conrad tied for 52nd place (+14).
After Tuesday's round, junior Greg Conrad said he expects better of himself.
"Definitely didn't have my best this week," Conrad said. "Had some spots of great play, but overall, was just inconsistent to where I was putting myself in difficult spots on a very tough golf course that made it tough to make birdies and pars."
Conrad said his personal weakness was consistency in ball striking with longer clubs, especially on approach shots in the 175-200 yard range. Hitting greens regularly from those distances give more opportunities at birdie.
However, there were some things Conrad thought he did well in the tournament.
"Strengths that need to be kept up are my consistency in minimizing damage when in bad spots, as well as taking advantage of the easier holes," Conrad said. "I've been making birdies where expected, which is good."
Sparling also said he knows he and his team can play better.
"We were disappointed with how we played the last two rounds," Sparling said. "We made some mistakes across the board that took us out of contention. Lots to take away from the weekend, though. Going to take some time off after playing the last three weekends and then we'll get back after it."
Sparling said there's a fine line between winning and losing in golf, and it comes down to the short game.
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"Missing it in the right spots and then putting and short game - that's the difference between winning and losing," Sparling said. "If we can tighten those things up we should be in good shape for next week."
Schwarz, who played as an individual in the tournament, had a list of both areas of improvements and positive takeaways from the weekend.
"I just didn't commit to certain shots and get myself mentally locked in to put me in position to execute," Schwarz said. "Club selection was also a problem that led to some bogies. My strengths were short and medium length putts and my weaknesses were long irons and getting the ball in the fairway with the driver."
"I did a lot of good things this week at Erin Hills but just made too many mistakes. The course was fair but very demanding, penalizing any miscue coming into the green."
After playing three tournaments in a row, the RedHawks have a week off before their next competition on Oct. 19, the Mountaineer Intercollegiate.
Sparling said the break gives the team an opportunity to "hit the reset button." His team members agree that the extra rest will benefit them heading into the next tournament.
"We have a chance to decompress a bit the next couple of days and then get a good week of practice in leading up to West Virginia," Schwarz said. "The team knows what area of our game we need to work on, so it's just a matter of getting good prep in leading up to the tournament."
The Red and White travel to Bridgeport, West Virginia Oct. 19 for a two-day tournament and their last competition of the fall.