Golf team hopes to build on strong fall season


Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

The Viterbo men’s golf team looks to grow from their successful fall season through team chemistry and player development. The golfers will have five events in their month-long season, several of which are two-day events.  

During the fall, the golfers faced adverse playing conditions but battled their way through to many quality events. Their best event came at the Waldorf Invitational at Wedgewood Cove Golf Course where the team shot a season low of 300. The best performers were Brice Klabunde with a 73, Owen Bernstorf with a 74, Aaron Raabe with a 76, and Tyler Tesch with a 78.  

On February 21-22, the top five V-Hawk golfers took their talents to Boulder Creek, Nevada, where they competed at the Las Vegas Shootout. The course and conditions were challenging, but it was a rewarding experience. Myles Mason, the only first-year golfer to go on the trip, said, “It was fun; the golf was different. Coming from courses in the Midwest which tend to be tree heavy, and going to courses in the desert, that was a nice change. There were also coyotes on the course, which was cool.”  

The season begins on the March 28 at Hunters Ridge Golf Course in Marion, Iowa. During the weeks that follow, the golfers will compete in multiple styles of play. On April 6, a match play event will be held at Cedar Creek in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Match play is an individual style of golf in which each player is competing directly against the person they’re playing with; each hole is a point. To win in match play, players must be leading by more points than there are holes remaining. As opposed to stroke play, which is the standard for college golf tournaments, match play can become very intense and cutthroat.   

On April 25, the team will travel to Wedgewood Cove for their conference tournament. Last year, the tournament was held at Cedar Creek. The team placed third at conference with 635 over two days, but they were only 12 strokes behind second place Waldorf. Brice Klabunde finished in third place with 150. Tyler Tesch won the Champion of Character Award. 

The team hopes their hard work will pay off this season as they look to book a trip to the National Tournament at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois. Nick Tennis said of the upcoming season, “We have a top 10 team in the nation in our conference [Bellevue], but with our chemistry and work ethic, we have the determination to make it to nationals.  

As is important in every sport, the golfers have set goals for themselves and their team. Andy Odom, believes the key to his success this year is to “Get dialed in inside 125 yards and around the greens.” Gabe Rombalski, a first-year from Independence, Wisconsin, said the most difficult part of the transition from high school to college golf was “The competition is more experienced. Going from first man in high school to near the bottom at Viterbo was difficult.” Brice Klabunde’s goal is simple: “Win!” 

The team’s coach, Jim Socha, hopes that the team “Keeps getting better every day, which I think we did in the fall. Little steps become big steps.” He was also quoted as saying, “From my perspective, this year’s team chemistry is good. The guys like to see each other. They are competitive with each other, but it is a good competitive. The guys on the team are going to be friends long after they graduate.”