No. 14 CLU places fifth at West Cup

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Last week, the California Lutheran University men’s golf team placed fifth overall in the West Cup hosted by La Verne University. The Kingsmen scored a combined 931 while Redlands took first place with 904.

Kingsmen golf has gotten off to a strong start. They are ranked in the top 15 nationally. SCIAC has a total of five teams in the top 15 so the Kingsmen are always playing strong competition.

CLU has placed in the top five in many of its tournaments this year, taking third and fourth in the first SCIAC tournament in February.

“We are doing very well this year. I think we have the ability to play even better moving forward as well,” senior Mikey McGinn said.
“When we all play the way we are capable of playing at the same time, we are as good or better than any team in the country.”

McGinn is currently ranked third in the country as an individual. In early March, he defended that title at the Masters Invitational in Santa Clarita winning by four shots. That invitational was important for the team as well because the Kingsmen made a comeback from seventh place in the second round to finish second place overall with the lowest round of the day.

There have been many highlights during the current season for the Kingsmen, who are ranked fourteenth in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Senior Okkar Oo shot the third most birdie total in the first invitational of the year at the California State San Marcos Invite. McGinn participated in the annual Patriot All-America Invitational, playing in honor of the son of a CLU employee who died while serving with the Marines in Iraq.

Freshman golfer Matthew Kemps has been there for all these moments.

“First season has been great. I love all the guys on the team like my brother. We are all close,” Kemps said.

Kemps went on to say that although the Kingsmen golf has had a great season already, there is always room for improvement. Though competition is intense, he said, CLU has set and continues to set a high standard of performance.

“In my mind, my stand out moment is just participating the best I can toward my team. If I can do that, then that can be my stand out moment,” Kemps said.

Though past years have been strong, junior golfer Barret McGinnis thinks that the men’s golf team may come out stronger this year.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the team that competed at last year’s National Championship and I can confidently say that this group of guys is just as good, if not better,” McGinnis said.

As the season moves forward, many of the Kingsmen golfers are looking to the second SCIAC tournament as well as the SCIAC championship.

“I think we can do very well [in the next SCIAC tournament and the championships] because we have a lot of good experiences at both golf courses we will be playing,” McGinn said.

McGinnis agrees and explains that it’s important that the team take pride in playing well whether or not it wins.

“This team has shown an ability to, week in and week out, perform at a high level and compete with many of the best teams in the country,” McGinnis said. “We’re hoping for continued success as we prepare for SCIAC No. 2.”

The Kingsmen’s next tournament is SCIAC No. 2 on April 5 and 6 at Empire Lakes Golf Course in Rancho Cucamonga.

 

Megan Callery
Staff Writer
Published April 2, 2014