Over the weekend the Drake men’s golf team took part in a two-tournament road trip across the American Southwest. The team flew out to Palm Desert, Calif., to compete in the Wyoming Desert Classic Friday through Sunday then drove down to Peoria, Ariz., to take part in the Quintero Invitational.
The Bulldogs were hot and cold in their second and third tournaments of the spring season. Senior Ben Freeman led the team throughout the weekend in both tournaments. He was glad to get the chance to get his swing back into shape outside, but said the road trip gave him a lot of time to think about his game.
“It was long. You fly down to California, play a tournament. Go to Arizona and play another tournament,” Freeman said. “You just have to stay focused as much as you can, save as many strokes as you can as long as you shoot well.”
At the Wyoming Desert Classic the team finished 16th overall. Top scorers were Freeman who tied for 21st place, freshman Matt Ohl who tied for 60th, senior Brad Reierson who tied for 78th and senior Cody Schweinefus who tied for 81st.
The team then moved on to Arizona to take part in the Quintero Invitational at the Quintero Golf Club in Peoria. The Bulldogs took on the likes of rival Creighton, North Dakota State and South Dakota in a quad match over Monday and Tuesday. Seniors Freeman and Schweinefus took over the leaderboard early in the day on Monday. They raced out to an early lead and battled each other for the top spot into Tuesday. Freeman ended up with top medalist honors while Schweinefus came in a close second. Schweinefus was hoping to overtake Freeman for the lead, but was happy that they played so well.
“I just took my confidence from the first day and just tried to use it to maintain my focus to catch up to Ben. It didn’t happen,” he said. “It enabled us to come through with the win.”
Their stellar play, backed by the rest of the team, netted the Bulldogs the Quintero Invitational crown. Head coach Scott Bohlender was somewhat optimistic about his team’s win.
“We’re making progress,” he said. “We’re a ways away from an MVC championship. We have to play a lot of golf after that big layover in winter. We’re still trying to figure out where we are.”
Freeman shot a 218 overall and was followed by Schweinefus with a 230, freshman Connor Steele in sixth with a 235 and Reierson tied for 10th with a 243.
Bohlender was wary of the effect that the two tournaments in five days had on his squad. He is optimistic they will take it in stride.
“I think we just went through a grind, just played a heck of a lot of golf in five days,” he said. “We were on the golf course from sun up to sun down without practice.
Every day we play on grass we’re going to get better.”