Golf teams continuing to get work in as spring nears

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

After both the Eastern men’s and women’s golf teams had their final two events and the OVC Tournament canceled back in the spring, and then had their fall competitions postponed, head coach Mike Moncel said the most difficult thing has been keeping the athletes in the right state of mind.

“We’ve been playing all summer, so keeping them motivated to play is the big thing,” he said. “So we’ve been doing a lot of matches against one another, played round robins a couple times and did a little match play to hopefully keep them motivated to play. We’ve had a great fall so we’ve been able to get out here quite a bit.”

Moncel is in his second stint with Eastern which started in 2004. He he is not in his 21st year with the men’s program and his 17th year with the women’s program.

He said the limited competition available for the athletes has been difficult, and having them participate in outside competitions this fall would be unrealistic.

“We just try to get them to compete against one another. It’s really about all we can do,” Moncel said. “There are some tournaments that are open out there, but it requires them traveling and that hasn’t been one of the things that we’ve been able to do a whole lot of. Just trying to keep them playing, they all know what they’re working on, they all know their weaknesses.

“We do some short game out here all the time and a little wedge work and that kind of stuff. They all kind of know where they’re at, so hopefully they’re sticking to the grind.”

Both rosters are also relatively inexperienced at the college level, with three of the seven members of the women’s team being freshmen or sophomores in terms of eligibility, as are six of the eight members of the men’s team.

Moncel said that the time in the fall is important to see what each athlete has and get things set for once competitions begin in the spring.

“That’s why we’re doing the qualifying rounds,” he said. “We’re basically saying, ‘look, these qualifying rounds are kind of important because that’s who is going to go to the first match in the spring.’ If we happen to play a tournament in February or early March, there’s not going to be any qualifying going on, so this is it. As long as they’re with the mindset that this is an important round today, that’s kind of how we’re staying competitive and keeping them on top of it.”

Going back to the last year, the men’s team competed in four meets in the fall and two in the spring before the cancellations.

They finished 12th out of 17 places, 18th out of 18, 10th out of 13, eighth out of 11, fourth out of seven and fifth out seven.

The women’s team played four times in the fall and once in the spring, finishing ninth out of nine places, ninth out of nine, 14th out of 14, 12th out of 12 and 13 out of 14.

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]