Brighter days ahead for Wisconsin

Category fsywewms

first_imgThis year’s abnormally cold and snowy spring has put most of the sporting world very much at the mercy of Mother Nature. For the UW men’s golf team, its last two tournaments have been right in the middle of snowfall, leading to cancellations at both the Purdue Boilermaker Invitational and the Ohio State Kepler Invitational.”We spent most of our early spring in North Carolina or out in San Diego, where you never see that kind of weather, so we had to make adjustments in our game,” head coach Jim Schuman said. “But we can’t use the bad weather we saw once we came back to the Midwest as an excuse for how we played in those two tournaments.”And it has been a rough couple of weeks for the Badgers. After never placing lower than fifth at any tournament this year, the team ran into a road block at OSU’s Kepler Invitational. UW finished 13th out of 15 teams, by far its worst result of the year.Schuman believes one of the reasons for the negative result might have been the Buckeyes’ recent renovation to their course, which included the lengthening of some of the holes. The other factor was the uncharacteristic weather.”I would have thought that (lengthening the holes) would have been an advantage for us considering how long we usually are off of the tee,” Schuman said. “Usually we would have handled that pretty well, but with the weather we had out there, it was really tough to get anywhere. If you were able to hit the green on a shot, you were doing a great job.”Schuman also said his team had troubles with the short game, which he believes may be caused by the inability to practice on real grass outside.”[The short game] just didn’t really materialize for us,” he said. “I mean, there isn’t a lot of chipping and putting you can practice in 6 inches of snow.”For many of the team’s practices this past week, players have had to play in a covered dome where there are a limited number of greens for them to practice on.Schuman was quick to say that while the team hasn’t been putting together its best scores of the season, he gives them a lot of credit for playing through the adverse conditions. One bright spot for the team in Columbus was the excellent play of sophomore Pat Duffy, who finished the tournament 16 strokes over par, good for a 43rd-place finish. It was the highest finish of the day for the Badgers.Looking ahead to the weekend, Schuman and his team hope to finally put the worst of the weather, as well as their play, behind them for good. The Badgers will look to finish the Big Ten season on a high note before entering the conference tournament in Columbus next weekend.The focus is on this weekend’s matchup though, as MSU’s Matt Harmon — the winner of the aforementioned Kepler Invitational — will surely look to protect his home course. “MSU is playing very strong right now,” Schuman said. “Facing them (in East Lansing) will be tough, but all of our players recognize that there is a challenge ahead of them, and they are embracing that.”last_img

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