In the last match of the fall season, the Wisconsin men’s golf team ended on a sour note, finishing in last place out of eight teams in the Big 10/Pac-10 challenge.
Although the team ended the third round fairly well, the mistakes they made in the first round were too much to overcome — Wisconsin was in last place, 15 strokes behind the second to last team, Oregon State. The performance wasn’t what head coach Jim Schuman was looking for heading into the spring season.
“We didn’t get a solid performance out of really anybody,” Shuman said.
The disappointing finish did not accurately represent the team’s play during the fall season, as the Badgers finished the fall season ranked 35th nationally in the Golfweek/ Sagarin ratings. While Danny Zimmerman and Dan Woltman were excellent contributors to the team this season, Woltman had a rough go, finishing the first two rounds in 156 strokes.
The struggles of both Woltman and the team in the first round may have been due to the constant travel.
“There’s a culmination of things,” Shuman said. “We were out there a week before on the West Coast and it’s very difficult to travel out there. … Quite honestly, we were fairly tired.”
Although the fall season is barely over, Shuman is already looking to the spring season; he can’t wait to get his team back out there competing, but the offseason will certainly give the Badgers ample opportunity to correct the mistakes.
“It gives us a chance to figure out, what are they doing better than what we’re going,” he said.
According to Schuman, in order to stay competitive with the top teams in the future, each player will need to lose about two strokes each day. Beyond the spring season, the outlook for next year looks positive as well. Although Jeff Kaiser will graduate, all other players on the team are returning next year.
Despite the struggles in the Big 10/Pac-10 Challenge, there were plenty of positives during the fall season. Zimmerman and Woltman each won an individual tournament title for the Badgers this season. Zimmerman took the Minnesota Invitational Sept. 16 and Woltman won the Prestige @ PGA West in California Oct. 16. Junior Tyler Obermueller has also been a solid contributor this fall. He finished 30th at the Memphis Collegiate earlier in the year and had a strong performance at the St. Mary’s Invitational.
But in order to be successful in the future, Shuman wants a total team effort.
“The talent level is there, but we still can’t look past the fact that we need to have four guys … able contribute for us at any given time,” he said.