Eastern finishes last in OVC tournament

Oscar Rzodkiewicz, Golf Reporter

The Eastern men’s golf team competed in the OVC Championships early this week, and despite a promising day two, the Panthers finished last in the conference after 54 holes.

Eastern managed to move up the leaderboard to 10th out of 11 teams after the second round, but a 318-stroke, +30 round three moved them back below Tennessee State in the end.

Junior Romeo Perez led the way for the Panthers, going just +1 in his first two rounds combined and finishing tied for 31st overall.

Perez said the effort from the team was solid, and despite the placing, he wants to continue working on the process.

“We played pretty good the first two rounds but struggled the last one,” Perez said. “We proved to ourselves that we can compete, and now we need to practice over the summer and be stronger next year.”

Perez closed out the 2018-19 campaign as the team leader in stroke average at 76.29 per contest, as well as posting the most par rounds of any player on the squad.

Just behind Perez in both the overall standings and the stat sheets for the year is senior Charlie Adare, who shaved off strokes in both his second and third rounds to close out his college golf career with a 74-stroke final set of 18 holes.

Adare said he was pleased with his concluding tournament performance.

“It was a nice way to finish my career on a great golf course,” Adare said. “I really enjoyed playing alongside my teammates this week.”

Adare shuts the door on his time competing for Eastern with a career 78.23-stroke average in 94 total rounds played and one top-ten finish this season.

The senior also gave some advice to his teammates that get to suit up for the Panthers next season.

“I would just tell them to keep practicing, keep competing and enjoying the journey because it goes by quickly,” Adare said.

One Eastern golfer that has plenty of time to do just that is freshman Nic Nguyen, who got his first crack at the OVC Championships this season.

Nguyen posted scores for just the first two rounds of the tournament, finishing at 174 strokes overall, and he said his scores were a product of his mental game.

“It’s a course where you have to trust yourself on every shot, and I got off to a nice start, but once one shot and a mental mistake shattered my rhythm, I just lost my groove and compounded mistakes and made the worst out of it,” Nguyen said. “It’s honestly a good learning experience and motivates me to play much better next year and work extra hard this summer.”

Nguyen ended this season with an 82.27-stroke average in 15 rounds played.

Fellow freshman Pierce Allord and junior Marcello Verdolin hugged the leaderboards together, as Allord finished just one stroke ahead of Verdolin’s 237-stroke final.

Allord concluded his season fourth on the team in stroke average, while Verdolin finished third and as the only Panther to finish in the top-five during a tournament this year.

Sophomore Sebastian Olrog got in the championship action in the third round as he posted an 86-stroke final.

Olrog played in 19 rounds this season with a relative par of +9.

Despite the team finishing all but four of its nine tournaments in last, every player with previous Eastern experienced lowered their career stroke-average this season.

Oscar Rzodkiewicz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]