The men’s golf team finished in 11th place at Florida Atlantic’s three-round Slomin Autism Invite in Lake Worth, Fla., March 28-30.
Sophomore Jared Gosser led the Racers with rounds of 78-74-68, tying for 22nd place overall.
Gosser previously shot his low round of 68 in back-to-back first round scores in the fall at the Murray State Invitational and the Skyhawk Classic.
“(Head Coach Eddie Hunt) has just been really great, and he’s very encouraging,” Gosser said. “That’s one of the reasons the team’s been improving each round. He doesn’t get upset.
“He really encourages us and tried to get us to go out there and have a good time, and have fun. That’s what it’s all about, and that’s what I really did the last round.”
Hunt said he believes the team was disappointed in its performance the first two rounds, as the wind proved to be a tough hurdle to overcome.
“It was a great tournament and a really strong field,” Hunt said. “It was really windy and we just couldn’t respond to the wind that well. But Jared had a really strong round the last day, and we left there with a good feeling. It leaves us ready for the next tournament.”
The University of Central Florida took first in the competition, and OVC competitors Jacksonville State and Morehead State earned fifth and 13th, respectively.
According to Hunt, the team is working to find a fifth man, and he plans to use the two-week break in action to play qualifying rounds in order to do just that.
“Over the past 10 years really, we’ve had an older, more experienced, dominant player at the number one position, and you can pretty much count on that score every time,” Hunt said. “We’ve got some good players, we’ve got some kids that can step up and do that, but they might be a year away from doing that. With inexperience and youth, especially in college golf, it just takes a while to be able to play more consistent.”
The Racers are now off until April 14, when they compete in Tennessee State’s Men’s Big Blue Intercollegiate. It will be their last tournament before the OVC Championships.
Hunt expects six or seven OVC schools to compete, and he hopes to see how his team stacks up within the conference.
“We feel good about going into the OVC,” Gosser said. “Everybody’s starting to play a little better, and in all reality, OVC is all that matters anyway when it comes down to it. I think we can have a strong showing.”
Story by Mallory Tucker, Staff writer