The West Virginia University golf team opened up their fall season with a disappointing third round this week at the Colonial Collegiate Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Mountaineers entered the tournament 33 over-par, tied for ninth place this morning. The team then carded 20 over-par for the day. The tournament was played at the Colonial Country Club, a course that was new to everyone on the team. The squad was also going into the new season without redshirt senior captain Eitenne Papineau, who had season-ending knee surgery earlier this month.
Despite being without his captain, junior Mark Goetz led the way for the Mountaineers, after carding a solid third round, hitting even on the day. His round opened with a strong birdie on hole one. He followed that up with birdies on holes six and eight as well and hit every hole for par on the back nine. Goetz also had a good first two rounds for the Mountaineers, shooting two over in round one, and five over in round two.
"The course played very difficult today, but that's what you can expect at the highest level in college golf," coach Sean Covich said. "We have to do a better job limiting our mistakes when we get out of position."
Right behind Goetz was redshirt sophomore Kurtis Grant, who started his tournament with a solid 76 in the first round. He then followed that up with a 72 in the second round, which paced the way for the Mountaineers. For the third round, Grant continued his consistent performance, getting birdies on holes 14,15, and 16 to end his back nine at even-par and for 74 on the day.
Redshirt junior Logan Perkins had a trying opening tournament for the Mountaineers as well, carding a 75 in round one, and a 77 in round two, which featured a disastrous start to the back nine on hole 10, where Perkins had a triple-bogey. He initially rebounded in the third round on Tuesday, however, opening his round with two straight birdies on holes one and two. Those ended up being his only two birdies of the entire round, and Perkins struggled on the back nine to end his day with a 78.
The Mountaineers golf team also sports three newcomers to the team as well. Freshmen Oliver Menard, Will Stakel and Jackson Davenport all made their WVU debuts this weekend. The freshmen all struggled during the opening rounds of play in their maiden tournament. Davenport impressed right out of the gate with a 72 during round one, tying Goetz for team best. He followed that up with a difficult second round, which featured a triple-bogey on the ninth hole and a 76 for the round. Round three proved to be just as challenging for Davenport, who shot a triple-bogey for the second day in a row on 12 and had just one birdie all round, leaving him with an 82 on the day, 12 over-par.
"We started three true freshmen today, so they certainly got to experience what it takes to compete in the Big 12," Covich added. "I look forward to seeing them continue to develop their games."
Menard was consistent for the entire tournament, carding a 76 on day one, a 75 on day two, and 78 during round three. They all saw him have multiple birdies, and he was one of the leaders on the team in total pars over the whole tournament.
Finally, Stakel struggled heavily in his first official round of his collegiate career. He shot at least for bogey on 11 of 18 holes and ended the round with no birdies and a whopping score of 84, 14 over-par. This didn’t faze the young golfer, however, and Stakel was able to improve his score in the second round, sitting at 78, eight over-par with one birdie. In the third round on Tuesday, Stakel found more struggles and finished off round three with at least bogey on 10 holes, no birdies, and a score of 81, 11 over-par.
After this tournament, WVU will head to The Clubs at Houston Oaks in Hockley, Texas for the Big 12 fall series on Oct. 2.