The Knox College Men’s golf team finished their season on a positive note this weekend, taking third place in the Midwest Conference (MWC) tournament.
The team traveled to Aldeen GC in Rockford, Ill. This year’s finish followed last year’s third place performance, and they look to be a team on the rise.
Knox finished the three-round tournament with a final stroke total of 978, only eleven strokes behind second place Monmouth College.
Leading the charge for the Prairie Fire were juniors Jamie Jang and Bobby Stuebi.
“I was really proud of those guys,” head coach Rob Purlee said, “Bobby was Bobby, solid and consistent. I know he wanted to go lower, but with the brutal weather conditions on the second two days it was just a solid showing.”
Stuebi finished in a tie with Jang and Carroll University’s Sam Luedtke for fourth in the individual standings. Stuebi fired a 79 on each of the tournaments three days.
“As for Jamie, he was on fire Friday,” Purlee said, “He was the best golfer in the field in round two, and it was nice to see him finish in the top five.”
Jang’s 73 in Friday’s second round was the second lowest in the entire tournament.
Round two was the best round for the Knox team. The team finished with 319 strokes for the round, the lowest total from Knox for the weekend.
Knox also got a solid performance from freshman James Fenner, who fell just short of cracking the top ten, finishing alone in 11th place.
Rounding out the tournament for the Prairie Fire were seniors Kevin Morris (32nd), A.J. Shule (t-37th) and Peter Cain (47th).
The only teams to top the Prairie Fire were Monmouth College and champion Carroll University, which included individual medalist Eric Busalacchi.
Though the team wanted to go out on top, Purlee acknowledged the season as generally positive.
“Whether it was taking second at home in the Scot-Fire Invite, or seeing Fenner win his first individual title at the Blueboy Invitational, we had a solid year. Our spring break trip was outstanding, and we proved we were as good as anybody we played,” Purlee said.
All three seniors will leave spots to be filled for next year’s team, but the top half of the team will remain.
The young three will bring confidence to a team that has had its struggles—given the program’s storied history—the past few years.
“With our best three coming back there is no doubt we will be good,” Purlee said, “To have multiple guys feel as if they have a definite chance to win the whole thing is really exciting. We just need to get that fourth score … and then the sky is the limit.”