Men’s golf finishes 5th in conference tournament
The Marshall University men’s golf team will end its 2013 season on a high note as it finished fifth overall in the Conference USA golf tournament at Texarkana Country Club on April 23.The team was originally predicted to finish 12th overall among division rivals, but the Thundering Herd beat the odds due to the play of senior Nathan Kerns, freshman Logan Lagoditch and an excellent game plan.According to head coach Matt Grobe, the team play was amazing.“A really good finish, we were ranked 12 in the beginning, so we passed a lot of teams,” Grobe said.Grobe and the team knew exactly what they wanted to do through the three days of this year’s tournament before it even began.“We make a game plan, no adjustments were necessary and the tee shows everything,” Grobe said. “We worked hard in practice and were ready to go.”The Herd also had experience on its side going into the annual tournament.“It was Nathans third year, and others played once and knew what to expect,” Grobe said.Kerns finished the tournament with a -5 and earned a third place ranking. Lagoditch scored a +3, which put him in a three-way tie for 14th place along with Austin Smotherman of SMU, Paul Dunne of UAB and Jere Pelletier of Texas El Paso.“Nathan played best, he’s the senior,” Grobe said. “Logan Lagodich, as a freshmen and his first time playing in the tournament and playing on the course, he just played great.”Kerns’ performance in the tournament launched his national ranking to 168th and created the potential to make the regional team.“I’m hoping that Nathan gets into regionals,” Grobe said. “He is 168th overall and the top 200 usually make it. He finds out May 6.”Kerns is a senior, so he will be absent in the coming year, and the Herd has to look elsewhere for the leadership, experience and work effort he offered.Grobe has a difficult challenge ahead of him.“I don’t know if you can, I’m looking for leadership and that is tough to replace,” Grobe said. “The leadership has got to be with the juniors.”Finding leadership next year should not take too much time because the men’s golf team will have a majority of seniors — five out of 11 total. Among them are Brian Anania and Jeremy Rogers who finished 35th and 30th in the tournament.“Brian Anania and Jeremy Rogers played great,” Grobe said. “I’m really happy with the way they played. All five competing lot of the juniors stepped up.”Another challenge Grobe must face lies within the changing face of C-USA. The top three teams of the tournament, Huston, SMU and UCF are departing the conference.Grobe said he is looking to focus on his own team and let his opponents handle themselves.“Worry about yourself, focus on taking care of what we take care of,” Grobe said. “Good teams are leaving, and good teams are coming in.”The good teams Grobe refers to are Charlotte and North Texas University, which are scheduled to begin tournament play next season.Thomas Green can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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