Bruins golf team finds friendly rivalry with Benedict College

The Bruins golf team traveled to Columbia Saturday, March 29, and took second place in the Benedict College Spring Invitational. The invitational was a dual match between BJU and Benedict College, a historically black college.

Last fall, the Bruins women participated in the dual tournament and deeply impacted the opposing players. Benedict’s coaches asked BJU to return this spring, this time for a men’s tournament, with hopes of building the same positive friendships.

“[Benedict’s coaches] were impressed with first match in the fall,” Coach Denny Scott said. “The girls played Benedict, and they appreciated our building relationships with them.”

Senior Stefanie Nifenecker is a veteran who participated in the tournament last fall. “It was a really fun tournament, because it was a match between only two schools, and the girls were really friendly,” she said. “We were able to build great connections, and they were the  friendliest school I played with and the best attitude to compete with. I learned a lot from them.”

Nifenecker said the Benedict players even offered the Bruins tips and advice for the course.

“Overall, it was a good connection with the school that we hadn’t had before,” she said.

On Saturday, the two men’s teams met at Oaks Hill Golf Club, a challenging golf course in South Carolina. Four Bruins, sophomores Micah Gold, Blake Counts and Kyle James and junior Clay Wiginton represented BJU in the tournament against four players from Benedict College.

Gold shot 75, which was three over par and the lowest score of the two teams. Wiginton played behind Gold by only two strokes, shooting 77.

At the end of the tournament, Benedict snatched the win with a total team score of 319, and the Bruins, behind by two strokes, finished with a final team score of 321. The Bruins had the two lowest individual scores, but also held the two highest individual scores.

“Overall [the tournament] was good, a first time with only two schools, and it was a good tune-up for the tournament we’re playing Monday and Tuesday,” Coach Scott said. “Saturday was a good competitive experience for us.”

The Bruins travelled north to Crossville, Tenn., for the AAC Conference Spring Tournament, a two-day tournament that started Monday, March 31, to compete against nine schools.