Drake came away from the Branson Creek Invitational on Tuesday with a successful sixth-place finish overall. The team’s success can be largely attributed to senior Ben Freeman, who finished the tournament in fourth place.
Freeman shot a 76 in his final round of the invitational and ended the tournament with a total score of 222. He was the only Drake golfer who ended the two-day invitational with all three scores in the 70s, with 73s in his first two rounds.
“Ben’s rounds were fantastic,” head coach Scott Bohlender said in a Drake athletics press release. “We are hoping Ben will receive a regional invite for the NCAA tournament.”
Freeman has been extremely successful during the spring season thus far. In early March, he was named MVC Golfer of the Week after winning the Quintero Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz. Freeman went on to finish third at the Jackrabbit Invitational in Primm, Nev., shooting his best score of the spring season with a combined score of 204. The NCAA Tournament selects only 45 individuals, therefore Freeman “can’t afford any bad losses,” according to Bohlender.
Monday was a difficult day for golfers due to difficult weather. Rain and excessive wind proved to be a problem, but Drake’s golfers stepped up during the second round after the weather had improved slightly.
“We had a couple guys who just don’t have enough shots yet to be consistent in this type of weather,” Bohlender said. “Also, during the first round, we gave away a lot of shots during the last few holes. The second round was definitely better as we were more focused during the last few holes.”
The men finished Monday and Tuesday’s invitational with a total combined score of 932. Senior Cody Schweinefus finished with a score of 237 to tie for 34th place and freshman Matt Ohl tied for 42nd place with a score of 240. Senior Brad Reierson and freshman Connor Steele both contributed to the team’s success as well, both tying for 45th and 54th place, respectively.
The team is now looking forward to the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship at Sunrise Beach, Mo., on April 25-26. Last year’s team finished fourth in the MVC and is looking to do even better in this year’s championship.
“We have three weeks to prepare for the conference meet, and that’s a lot of time to get in some quality work,” Bohlender said.
Branson Creek Invitational Results
DRAKE INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
4. Ben Freeman: 73-73-76 = 222
34. Cody Schweinefus: 80-75-82 = 237
42. Matt Ohl: 84-76-80 = 240
45. Brad Reierson: 83-84-74 = 241
54. Connor Steele: 86-86-74 = 246
1. Missouri State: 305-300-290 = 895
2. Stephen F. Austin: 300-301-295 = 896
3. SIU Edwardsville: 305-305-294 = 904
4. UMKC: 304-305-302 = 911
5. Western Kentucky: 316-305-303 = 924
6. Drake 320-308-304 = 932