Golf teams complete first tournament of spring season

Andrew Clausen

The recent weather may suggest otherwise but it is golf season once again for Appalachian State and the men’s and women’s teams opened up the spring season this past week with road tournaments.

The women’s team competed in the High Point University Classic posting a fifth-place finish. Four members of the men’s team competed in the Irish Creek Intercollegiate and were paced by freshman Caleb Keck who shot five over par, good for 19th.

The final rounds of both tournaments, scheduled for Feb. 25, were canceled due to rain.



Senior leadership

Both teams will rely heavily on its veteran presence at the top of the line-up for success this season. This is especially true for the men’s team, who lost two of its top five players because of shoulder surgery before the season.

“It’s kind of an interesting way that we ended up with four of our top five being upperclassmen,” head coach Bill Dicus said. “But that’s how it ended up happening. These are good players though, they’re going to be successful for us.”

The men’s team returns five seniors, as well as graduate student Daniel Walsh, to help fill the role on the traveling team.

“From a coaching standpoint it’s always a good thing to travel with juniors and seniors,” Dicus said. “They know what the expectations are. They’ve learned how to deal with me, I’ve learned how to interact with them. It kind of makes life a lot easier.”

The Mountaineers are led by senior Josh Nichols. Nichols had a strong fall season, placing two top-five finishes, including a second place finish at the Sun Life Invitational. Nichols also led App State for the fall season with an average of 73.29 strokes per round.

The top three spots of the women’s lineup are comprised of leaders as well with seniors Yue Xu, Rumbidzai Masamvu and Lauren Smith.

These three highlighted the fall season by placing in the top three en route to the team’s championship at the Winthrop Intercollegiate.

This past Sunday, Smith led the field at the Hilton Head Invitational with a score of 77. However, the team fell in the head-to-head tournament against Dayton by three strokes.

Rewriting the history books

The Mountaineers go into the spring season with two players who hold the lowest career average in school history.

With an average of 74.59 strokes though 83 collegiate rounds, Nichols currently holds the record on the men’s side.

For the women, Xu is the App State record holder with an average of 76.76 strokes through 72 rounds.

The women return to the course March 11 for the Benbow Invitational in Jacksonville, Fla., while the men hit the links March 10 for the Bash at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Story: JORDAN DAVIS, Sports Reporter