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Josh Dav­enport during the Doc Spragg Invite
Courtesy | Findlay

On Sept. 20- 21, five players on the Hillsdale College men’s golf team com­peted and earned 15th at the Doc Spragg Fall Invi­ta­tional in Findlay, Ohio. In its second tour­nament of the season, the team shot 300 – 299-298 – 897 overall. 

The Chargers played against teams from 17 other schools, placing 15th. Matt Thompson, the head coach of the team, brought five of his players to Findlay for the Invite. Freshman Oscar Dar­lington, senior Josh Dav­enport, and juniors Drew Gandy, Darragh Mon­aghan, and Gerry Jones Jr. 

Dav­enport led the Chargers with a 32nd place finish, he carded a 71 – 77-73 – 221 for the invite. He also led the tour­nament on par-3s, shooting ‑2. Right behind Dav­enport was Jones, who fin­ished in 39th place with a 75 – 74-74 – 223 scorecard. 

Jones had either Hills­dale’s best or second-best score in each of the three rounds of the invite, the only Charger to do so.

Last year, four of the team’s players — two seniors and two fifth-year seniors — grad­uated, Thompson said. Four freshmen joined the team this year to fill out the roster.

“The guys we’ve got on the team this year are great,” Gandy said. “I feel like our team chem­istry has been doing really well so far.”

With so much turnover on their roster, Gandy said there is a learning curve for the team as they find a place for everyone. 

“We lost some pretty big com­po­nents of our team after last year, so just finding the right pieces to put together is going to be crucial,” Gandy said.

Although they lost some key players from last year, Dav­enport remained pos­itive about this year’s team.

“Everyone showed up and seems ready to work,” Dav­enport said.

While their ranking in the second tour­nament of the year wasn’t what they had hoped for, the team is hopeful for the rest of the season.

“I think we improved every round this week,” Dav­enport said. “Not everyone’s played too much com­pet­itive golf at this point in the season, so we just have to be ready come cham­pi­onship time.”

Thompson said he agreed, pointing out that the team’s four freshmen, Charlie Beldon, Dar­lington, Chris Des­Fas­siaux, and Filippo Reale will get better as the season goes on.

“We haven’t started out all that strong — a couple rough tour­na­ments so far, but we’ll get back to work,” Thompson said. “I think once everybody settles in, espe­cially the new guys, we’ll just start to get better.”

Mean­while, the team prac­tices about 20 hours a week in Hayden park and at local golf courses, Thompson said.

The team will par­tic­ipate in the Kyle Ryman Memorial Oct. 4 – 5 hosted by Tiffin.