With the NBA and NHL playoffs going on, there is always a lot of talk about home field advantage. The Knox College men’s golf team proved that the case is no different in golf when they took fourth place out of 17 teams as the co-host of the Scot-Fire Invite last weekend.
“Playing on courses that we are familiar with helped us, and we also had a sense of ‘defending our home turf’ on Friday,” junior Bobby Stuebi said, “and [Monmouth’s] Gibson Woods was definitely a course that we could make a lot of birdies on. All of the par fives are reachable in two, and there are a handful of short par fours.”
The confidence was reflected in the scoring, as Knox stood in a tie for second place after a weather-shortened round one. On day two Knox accomplished something they had not done all season – post four scores in the 70’s. Stuebi (76) combined with freshman James Fenner (74), sophomore Jamie Jang (74) and senior A.J. Shule (79) to give the Prairie Fire a season low score of 303.
“Having four scores in the 70’s was exciting for us since that does not happen often,” said Steubi, who finished in a tie with Jang for 14th in the individual standings. Fenner finished in a tie for eighth.
The team now looks to take the momentum built from their final tournament of the regular season and use it at the Midwest Conference Tournament this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford, Ill.
“Heading into the conference tournament, I think we are in a good spot,” Steubi said. “Other teams are not expecting us to win, but we know we can definitely win if we play well. We are not the favorites, but I like our chances. We hope to win conference, but in the end, we just have to play our best. If we play well and get second, I don’t think anyone would be devastated, but our goal is to win the whole thing.”