Following their third place finish in the MIAA fall season to qualify for the spring tournament, the Kalamazoo College Men’s Golf team is off to a hot start leading up to the spring qualifier.
To start the spring season, the team traveled to North Carolina, where they finished second at Seven Lakes Country Club. The Hornets were led by senior Phil Ritchie who finished tied for second individually, shooting a 75. Sophomores Nick Ludka and Travis Veenhuis both finished tied for fourth individually, both shooting 78.
Veenhuis topped his performance in North Carolina by leading the field as tournament medalist at the Rose-Hulman Spring Invitational, shooting 71 and 75 over the two days of the tournament. Led by Veenhuis, the Hornets finished tied for first on the weekend with Transylvania. Joining Veenhuis in the top five individually was senior David Smith who shot 73 and 76 to finish joint fifth.
Following the trip to Indiana, the Hornets returned home to host the Stephen Tyler Intercollegiate in Kalamazoo at the Moors. Ritchie again led the Hornets, this time with a 72, including a hole-in-one on the 8th hole, finishing in second individually. Led by Ritchie, the Hornets regular top four of seniors Ritchie and Smith, along with the sophomores Ludka and Veenhuis finished tied for second at the tournament with Calvin.
Continued strong play from the top four could propel to Hornets to new heights as they prepare for back to back Spring Qualifier appearances for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
So far the spring season has shown the Hornets depth in their top four, with Ritchie and Veenhuis leading the charge. This is a good sign for Kalamazoo as they move on to the MIAA Spring Qualifiers, in MIAA play in the fall, Smith and Ludka lead the Hornets in scoring average with 73.5 and 74 respectively. Continued strong play from the top four could propel to Hornets to new heights as they prepare for back to back Spring Qualifier appearances for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons, and look to build on last spring’s fourth place finish with Ritchie and Smith returning from study abroad.
The Hornets will hope to continue their good run of form this spring (one first place and two second place finishes), when they head to Grand Rapids this Saturday to begin the MIAA Spring Qualifier at Watermark. The qualifier will conclude on the following Friday and Saturday at Wuskowhan where first place fall finisher Hope will host the final two days.