By: TREY BAKER
With golf season approaching, Eastern’s men and women golf teams look to build off of last season’s successful year.
This season, the Eastern men work toward its 13th Ohio Valley Conference championship. With the loss of Taylor Riggs and Patric Sundlof, the Eastern men’s coach Pat Stephens looks to senior Daniel DeLuca to accept the leadership role.
“We have a lot of veteran players returning, but Daniel is really stepping in to lead by example and lead the team this year,” Stephens said.
Stephens also expects his “younger guys” to compete and give Eastern a competitive edge this season. Along with the OVC championship, Stephens and the Colonels hope to qualify for NCAA Regionals.
“Team chemistry is the key to success,” Stephens said. “College golf is a team-oriented sport. You may be hitting your ball, but you’re working together to win.”
The Eastern men kick off the season at the Marshall University Invitational from Sept. 14-15 in Huntington, W.Va.
The Eastern women plan on improving on last year’s run in the NCAA Regionals where they placed 15th, the best ever by an OVC team. Head Coach Mike Whitson explained his expectations of this season in four words: “Work hard every day.”
“Well, I’m a day-to-day kind of coach,” Whitson said. “As long as we work hard and stay focused every day, success will come.”
The Eastern women opened up the season at the Bluegrass Kick-Off, where the team went up against Belmont, Marshall, Morehead State and Western Kentucky. Led by freshman Amanda Lindahl, the Colonels fought back to win its season opener after falling three shots back after the first-round. Lindahl placed third in her first collegiate event.
“I was really impressed with the way we were able to stay focused and fight our way back. It says a lot about our team,” Whitson said. “For her first collegiate, she [Lindahl] played very good.”
The Eastern women hope to have another good outing when they compete in the William and Mary Invitational from Sept. 13-15.