Golf team takes first in tourney

The Baker University golf teams competed in the Graceland Invitational on Saturday and Sunday and at the William Woods Invitational on Monday and Tuesday.

The Wildcats had strong finishes from both the men's and the women's teams during the two tournaments.

The men placed second in the Graceland Invitational and were only a few strokes back from first place.

Sophomore Michael Kahler and freshman P.J. Matulka led the way with a score of 154 through 36 holes. Matulka shot only one over par on one of the days and junior David Tregemba shot a combined score of 158 to help the 'Cats take second.

In the second tournament, the men took sixth and had solid play from several members of the team as well.

Head coach Karen Exon said several players on the men's side did well.

"Everybody was just solid," Exon said. "They all think they could have done better, but I was very pleased with their play."

The men shot their best team score of the year, she said.

"The guys shot a 306 and I was very pleased," she said. "They practiced really hard since the last tournament to these two and they really did well."

Tregemba said the teams have improved since the beginning of the year.

"We're starting to play a lot better than we were at the start of the season," Tregemba said. "We need to get more consistent, but we're starting to play better."

The junior from Castle Rock, Colo., said the team is competing in all of the tournaments, considering they are all fairly young.

"It's nice that everybody can get a low score every once in awhile," he said. "We play a junior, a sophomore, and three freshmen in our top five, so being that young, it's nice to be consistent."

The women's team had a strong four days of golf as well. The 'Cats won the Graceland Invitational by over 30 strokes, with sophomore Ashley Johnson placing second overall for the two-day tournament with back-to-back scores of 90. Junior Beth Taylor had three solid days shooting in the low 90s and junior Laura Baker and sophomore Jessica DeSelms shot in the 80s on one of the four days.

Coach Exon said the women's team played extremely well in the William Woods Invitational as well, where they took fifth.

"The girls didn't do anything special the first day, they just survived the bad weather," Exon said. "Ashley Johnson and (junior) Laura Baker had solid rounds and they finished the first day in the middle of the pack."

Exon said the second day was even better than the first.

"We had four scores in the 80s," she said. "They posted their lowest round score of both seasons. I was very pleased with their play."

On the second day of the tournament, Johnson posted a personal best of 81, which is just nine over par.

"It's definitely the best score I've had at the college level," Johnson said. "Everything finally clicked that day."

Johnson, who plays at the No. 1 position, said the rest of the team played well during both of the tournaments.

"We had kind of a slow start in Springfield (the first tournament of the year)," she said. "We all shot really well at William Woods on Tuesday."

The two teams play again when they host the Baker Invitational on April 19 and 20 at the Alvamar Golf Course in Lawrence.

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