Wolves golf

Men’s golf team places third in conference championship

The Walla Walla University Wolves men’s golf team placed third in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championship tournament at Pronghorn Resort in Bend, Oregon, April 23–24.

The Wolves were in fifth place at the end of the first day of play on Pronghorn’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. On Tuesday, WWU seniors Brendan Collins and Cole Henderson each put up scores of 78 in the final round to help move the Wolves into third place.

“We talked about focusing on one shot at a time, one hole at a time, and having a short memory after a bad swing or bad hole,” said Rodd Strobel, Wolves golf coach. “It was a very challenging course. There was only one red number for the tournament.”

“I told them to always do their best no matter how their round was going because you never know how the other teams are playing,” said Strobel. That approach would prove key to the team’s success in the third round. The Wolves were one of only two teams to improve scores between the second and third rounds and the only team to improve in each round of the tournament.

The team from Oregon Institute of Technology took first place with Corban University placing second. Mayson Tibbs from Oregon Tech was the individual event champion with a combined score of 225. Tibbs was the only player to shoot below par in the tournament. Other universities at the tournament were College of Idaho, Multnomah University, Northwest Christian University, and Warner Pacific University.

Wolves golf team members participating in the tournament were: Brendan Collins, senior; Kevin Cummings, sophomore; Aubrey Fautheree, senior; Cole Henderson, senior; and Jarrett Johnson, senior.

Staying focused
Henderson said the key to the final round for him was his mental approach. “Especially with this course, everyone had to grind through the big numbers. Being able to avoid those big numbers or being able to mentally check back in after those big numbers was huge. This course had a lot more trouble than any other course that we have played.” Henderson said that controlling the damage was the difference maker. “I still found myself off in the sagebrush a few times, but I minimized the damage a lot by not turning one mistake into two.”

Collins said, “During the first two rounds I had a couple of bad holes, and [Tuesday] I eliminated those. I knew it was going to be an okay round [Tuesday] after I birdied two of my first three holes.”

“We passed two teams that went backward [Tuesday], even though every one of my boys felt like they could have played better. I have never been more proud of these guys. Not because of the third place, which is a really big deal for us, but because of the way they stayed focused and resilient on a very difficult course.”

About WWU athletics
The athletics program at WWU provides the opportunity for student athletes to develop and exercise their athletic abilities, learn leadership skills, build lasting relationships, and grow spiritually. Maintaining a mission-centered program, the WWU athletics program promotes a healthy, balanced life—body, mind, and soul—for their athletes through sport. Athletic opportunities include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Learn more at uwolves.com.

Posted April 25, 2018

From left: Aubrey Fautheree, Brendan Collins, Kevin Cummings, Jarrett Johnson, and Cole Henderson.