The Wisconsin men’s golf team looks to rebound on its 11th place finish at the Memphis Intercollegiate as it travels to Wilmington, N.C., to compete at The Landfall Tradition this upcoming weekend.
The 6,997 yard par 72 course will be played out over a three-day tournament, as opposed to the usual 36-hole first day, 18-hole second day format. The team will look to its most productive seniors, Tyler Obermueller and Dan Zimmerman, for leadership as it competes in the field of 12.
“[Our seniors are our] one and two guys; you know, we are pretty even across the board in terms of production, but when those two guys play well, we’re bound to do well,” head coach Jim Schuman said.
At the Badgers’ most recent tournament, both Obermueller and Zimmerman tied for 33rd among the field of 90. Despite Obermueller’s strong finish, he felt he did not play his best.
“[It was] my worst tournament of the year and probably the team’s worst overall performance as well,” Obermueller said.
Obermueller’s second round 3-over 75 saw him jump 12 spots in the leader board while Zimmerman’s second round 2-over 74 catapulted him 21 spots. As is evident, a strong first round score is essential.
“We need to make sure that we get off to a much, much faster start than we have the last three or four tournaments,” Schuman said. “You can’t just put yourself in a hole when you’re so many strokes behind the leader that it’s almost not feasible to make up six or eight or even 10 shots in one round.”
Last tournament’s final round was cancelled due to inclement weather, stymieing the Badgers’ leader board ascendance and putting even more significance on the opening rounds.
Although the team will rely on the leadership of Obermueller and Zimmerman, Schuman was also quick to point out that a golf team can’t be carried by one individual performance.
Obermueller echoed Schuman’s sentiments.
“That in order for us to win the tournament, we all have to stay consistent and remain on top of our game,” he said.
The team will also look to junior Jordan Elsen to continue his stellar play, as he recently finished a career-high third place with a 2-under par 211 at the Popping Hills tournament.
According to Schuman, the keys to this weekend’s success are decision making and making the most of each shot.
“It boils down to one — we have to make great decisions out there like every week, and secondly we have to make par,” Schuman said. “We’re going to make bad shots, and you just have to scramble to make it up.”
The Badgers enter this weekend’s tournament rejuvenated and ready to hit the links. Before last weekend, the Wisconsin golf team had competed five consecutive weekends.
“[The] wear and tear was starting to take a toll on us,” Obermueller said.
The Landfall Tradition also represents the last tournament of the fall season. Obermueller, who enters his last season as a Badger, realizes the importance of this last tournament.
“At least for the seniors, we want to make sure to end it strong,” Obermueller said. “There’s a lot of teams in there that I know we’re capable of beating.”
After a tough finish at their last tournament, Wisconsin remains excited, motivated and energized. The Badgers’ hope to make winning more of a tradition, as they believe they have saved their best golf for last.
“From a team expectation, winning it is always the ultimate goal,” Obermueller said. Anything short of that is allowing yourself to underachieve.”