Bruins men battle elements, take last place at AAC tournament

The Bruins travelled to Tennessee on Monday, March 31, for the Appalachain Athletic Conference Spring Tournament, placing last in the two-day tournament.

Sophomore Blake Counts, freshman Micah Gold, sophomore Kyle James and junior Clay Wiginton played below average games and found themselves behind. The course featured boundaries close to the fairway, and the difficulties hindered each player. The lowest score was a 73 — one under par — by Gold on Tuesday.

“Well, Clay and I didn’t have a really good first day,” Gold said. “We were discouraged a little bit, but we knew we could come back and play better the second day.” Gold said he battled the wind and elements on Tuesday. “It was a really nice golf course; the greens were fast, but I just stayed in it the entire day. My mindset was to fight through every adversity. I just kept battling back and made a birdie on the last hole to get one over [par].”

The Bruins have only four men to compete, adding another level of pressure on all of the men to score well at each tournament. ”We’re down one person,” Gold said. “One person can have a bad day, and the extra person can pick you up. It’s a struggle.”

James said, “Today I felt like I played pretty poorly on the front nine. It was a tough start, but I stuck with it.” James had two birdies and shot a hole-in-one on the final hole. “It was exciting,” he said. “Putting was a struggle, but then I got it together on the back nine. The wind definitely played a factor today, it wasn’t a crosswind, but it was either with you or against you. That’s a factor you had to take into consideration [when playing].”

The Bruins men have one more tournament left this semester in Georgia on April 14 and 15. Wiginton said, “We have only one more tournament, so [the AAC Tournament] will get us to work harder over the next few weeks, hopefully to finish off this season really strong.” He said this tournament was a challenge and that their scores were the worst of the season, but they’re looking for continued improvement.