By Ben Molnar, The Miami Student
The Miami University golf team had an impressive bounce back from its 12th place performance at the Inverness Intercollegiate on Sept. 22. The RedHawks finished second overall in the Badger Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin with a score of 873, which is 9-over par.
Sophomore Patrick Flavin remained at the top of the leaderboard in the individual player standings through both rounds and won the event with a score of 1-under par. It was his first win as a Miamian.
Senior captain Jack Sparling shot par on each of his first two days and a score of 73 on his last day to finish 1-over par and third overall. But this wasn't enough for the hungry team leader.
"Patrick played really well for us this week," Sparling said. "We got off to a great start as a team in the first round. However, we gotta be tougher and learn how to respond to adversity. We can't play the way we did today and expect to win."
Junior Greg Conrad finished twelfth place overall, shooting 5-over par. He was happy with the performance of his team, but expected better from himself.
"It was a good week," Conrad said. "Tough to finish the way I did today, but overall, I was really confident in my game plan for the course all week and felt like I putted the ball well and limited damage where I could."
However, Conrad was happy with his mental approach.
"My mindset throughout was definitely stay patient and consistent," he said. "By consistent, I mean with my routine. Having the mental discipline to keep my pre-shot and pre-round routine steady was key to my success, and I think brought along a good bit of confidence with it."
Some new faces made an impact for the 'Hawks over the weekend. Redshirt freshman Brian Ohr shot a round of 79, 14-over par, which tied him for 44th place.
Constant rain delays were common throughout the tournament, and head coach Zac Zedrick said it may have disrupted his team's mojo.
"We were in the position we wanted to be in and it was frustrating for everyone to not play well and get it done," Zedrick said. "The conditions were much more demanding, and we simply didn't rise to meet the challenge."
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The RedHawks' season continues with the Erin Hills Invitational at Marquette University Sunday. Colorado State, Marquette, Mississippi, New Mexico, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist, St. Johns, UCLA and Wisconsin will participate in the tournament.
The Erin Hills golf course is the site of the 2017 U.S. Open and is a par-72 course. The Red and White know what a great opportunity it is to play on such a nice course against some fairly good competition.
"We need to get some good rest after this past tournament and then stick to our normal game plan," Sparling said. "Focus on one shot at a time and stay patient."
Conrad is confident the team's success will carry over to the Erin Hills Invitational Tournament on Sunday.
"I built up a lot of confidence this weekend and proved to myself that I can be in the mix going into the final round," Conrad said. "It's a completely different golf course at Erin Hills that's going to require a lot of strategy compared to this week, but having been there before, I've got an edge to me now that wants to get a win and finish under par for an entire tournament."
The three-day tournament begins Sunday morning in Erin, Wisconsin.