The APSU men’s golf team impressed in their first tournament of 2020, placing as the runner-up in the George Washington President’s Day Match Play Championship.
Match play golf differs from that of the original stroke style. While stroke play is determined via strokes over an 18-hole course, match play is more focused on each hole as a separate competition.
The golfer with the lowest score on any given hole is given a point in match play, but can halve a point with their competitor in the event of a tie.
APSU defeated a duo of Ohio Valley Conference opponents on the first day of the tournament, besting Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky by a combined 10-3.
The Governors would go on to play Belmont on Tuesday, Feb. 18 for the championship. Despite tying 3-3 in the match, the Bruins would emerge with a championship due to an individual hole tiebreaker. Belmont would win the tiebreaker by one hole.
“Match play has been a fixture at the national championship level for a number of years, and recently it has been trickling down to conference championships,” head coach Robbie Wilson said on the tournament’s different play style. “This tournament was a great way to prepare for the OVC Tournament and get used to the head-to-head style that is extremely competitive for players and fans.”
Garrett Whitfield and Michael Busse were undefeated throughout the two-day event, the former earning two points and the latter scoring two and a half.
A runner-up finish ties the program’s best finish from a season ago, earning second place at both the Savannah Harbor Invitational (Ga.) in the fall and the Wofford Invitational (N.C.) in the spring. The Govs’ placing is impressive, considering the tournament is the program’s first experience with the match-play format.
Coach Wilson was excited by the overall performance of his team at the tournament.
“We played great [at] this event defeating [Eastern Kentucky] and Morehead State, but unfortunately we just couldn’t close out the championship. This experience will definitely help us come postseason,” Wilson said.
APSU will travel to two tournaments in the month of March, both in the traditional stroke style, participating in the Auburn Invitational on the 8-10 then playing at the Linger Longer tournament hosted by Mercer March 19-22.
As for the women’s team, the Governors will begin their spring season March 1-3 at the Kiawah Island Classic, hosted by the College of Charleston (S.C.).