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The golf team warms up before a tournament. (Photo: Hillsdale Athletics / Courtesy)

A month after their last tournament, the Hillsdale College Golf team traveled south to play at the Cherry Blossom Golf Course.

The Cherry Blossom Invite was hosted in Georgetown, Kentucky. Hillsdale placed 14th out of 21 teams in the two-day tournament that was played on March 18 and 19. The Chargers shot 617, which put them 25 strokes behind the first place finisher, Bellarmine University. 

Junior Logan Kauffman said these middle-of-the-pack finishes are not where the team wants to be, since it needs more top-place finishes to qualify for the postseason. 

“Quite frankly, we need to win,” Kauffman said. “We really wanted to play better, and we should have. However, your rounds are not always what you would like them be.”

Kauffman said he played “below average.”

After shooting 79 on Saturday and 77 on Sunday, Kauffman tied for 58th place as an individual with an overall score of 156.

Freshmen George Roberts and Sutton Dunwoodie, sophomore Peter Beneteau, and junior Joel Pietila also played in the tournament.

Pietila came in with the team’s lowest score, 152, and tied for 28th as an individual.Beneteau shot 154, Dunwoodie shot 155, and Roberts shot 161.

Roberts said he struggled to “find a good rhythm,” and he believes this is the problem for the team as a whole.

“It is there for us as a team, but we are just not putting all the pieces of the puzzle together at this moment. Hopefully, it will come together over the weeks remaining,” he said

Unfortunately, the best place finisher for the team only competed as an individual, so his score did not count for the team.

Juniors Joe Torres played as an individual and took ninth place out of the nearly 130 players. He shot 70 on Saturday and 77 on Sunday, for a two-day score of 147. Junior Steve Sartore also played individually, shooting a 163. 

Roberts said Torres played well despite “strong unexpected winds,” especially with his first-day two-under-par round.

Only three tournaments remain before the GLIAC Championship on April 23.

“Moving forward, we really need to push ourselves to be the best we can be each and every round,” Kauffman said.

The remaining tournaments are against teams in the team’s region. This means the golf team has to rank well in the coming weeks, ideally the top three, to advance to the postseason.

Hillsdale’s next event is the GLIAC South Invite at the Andover Country Club in Lexington Kentucky on March 27 and 28.