The West Virginia golf team had a strong showing against some of the best teams in the county at the Big 12 Match Play Championships, the team finished 1-3-1 in the event. The team's three losses were to No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 11 Texas Tech and Iowa State.
The opening rounds of the tournaments were tough sledding for the Mountaineers against Oklahoma first thing in the morning and Texas Tech that afternoon. Both matchups produced just one victory each for WVU.
Match play tournaments are scored by how many strokes one golfer is ahead of another, with the final score tally reading as “four-and-three” (4&3). This means that the winning golfer had a four stroke advantage with three holes remaining. The terminology “1UP” or “2UP” means that the winning golfer was ahead by one or two strokes on the 18th and final hole.
Fifth-year senior Logan Perkins picked up a victory against TTU’s Andy Lopez, 4&3. Junior Trent Tipton pulled off an impressive upset win over OU All-American Patrick Welch, 4&2.
Day two of the tournament opened with the Mountaineers taking on Kansas State, and it was all WVU against the Wildcats.
The Mountaineer squad turned in one of it’s best rounds of golf all season in a 4-2-0 win over Kansas State. Fifth-year senior Mark Goetz was once again dominant in his matchup with KSU’s Ethan Miller, Goetz did not lose a hole in a 6&5 victory.
Perkins and sophomore Oliver Menard both came away with wins as well. Menard started hot on the front nine to win his match against KSU’s Will Hopkins 3&2.
West Virginia put the rest of the Big 12 conference on notice in the second match of the day against Kansas. Coming off the win against KSU, the Mountaineers rode their momentum to an impressive 3-3-0 tie with the Jayhawks.
Leading the way once again for the Mountaineers was Goetz, who took his second overall victory through the first two days with a 3&2 win over Kansas’ Callum Bruce. Tipton pulled out a last-second 1UP win over Harry Miller, earning the Mountaineers the overall tie.
"I'm really proud of the guys today, winning our morning match against Kansas State and then playing a top-10 team to a tie in the afternoon," Covich said. "Mark and Logan were big for us today, winning both of their matches. Trent bounced back with a win in the afternoon that tied the team match versus Kansas.”
Outside of Goetz, West Virginia did not have much success against Iowa State to end the tournament. Tipton, Perkins and freshman Max Green all lost their respective matches by one stroke, while Grant struggled to a 4&2 loss leading to a 5-1-0 loss to Iowa State.
The only win for West Virginia was Goetz’s third of the tournament, 1UP over the Cyclones’ Frank Lindwall. He was once again clutch with his back against the wall, taking the overall lead on the 16th hole and making par on his final two putts to secure the win.
"It wasn't our best play today, other than Mark, we came out pretty flat early," Covich said. "We were playing from behind in all six matches and never made enough putts to catch up. This loss is on me -- I didn't have the guys ready to go versus Iowa State today. Overall, it was a good tournament for us.”
Next up for the Mountaineers is the fall season closer at the Isleworth Collegiate in Windermere, Florida, on Oct. 17-19.