Oakland's Golf Teams Continue Their Climb To Success In 02-03
Oaklandís golf teams continued to show progress towards the top of the Mid-Continent Conference in 2002-03. The Golden Grizzlies wrapped up their seasons by hosting the Mid-Con Championships on the Katke-Cousins Golf Course at Oakland University where the men had third-place finish, with the womenís squad placing fifth.
Head coach Dave DeWulf had his menís team on top of their game at the start of the season in the fall, with the Golden Grizzlies placing in the top three teams in the last three tournaments of the fall season. In the last two outings OU took home first place, winning the Golden Grizzly Fall Invitational by six strokes and the Holiday Inn Colonial Classic in Pittsburgh by a 15-stroke margin.
Senior Chris King had an outstanding fall season, finishing second in two tournaments and getting named the Mid-Con Player of the Week for his second place finish at the Butler Fall Invitational where he fired a 2-under 211 for his second place standing. Sophomore Brian Stuard also played well, capturing medallist honors at the Golden Grizzly Invitational with a three-round 223.
Senior Emily Minnich led the way for the womenís team in the fall, wrapping up the fall season with a pair of top-10 finishes. She placed second at the Golden Grizzly Fall Invitational and eighth at the Eastern Kentucky Fall Invitational. At the EKU outing she turned in the lowest score for the womenís team of the season, a 74, and was named the Mid-Con Athlete of the Week for her accomplishment.
Wet and cold conditions in the spring hampered both teams, with neither squad able to establish consistent play. The menís team was able to rebound from its slow start to finish the season with top-three finishes in three of its last four outings. The Golden Grizzlies took third at both the Butler Spring Invitational and the Mid-Con Championships and had their best finish, second, at the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational.
Stuard was the top performer in the spring, tying for fourth at Butler and tying for second at the Mid-Con Championships. That finish earned him first team All-Mid-Con honors. Jonathon Pauli also played well, taking a fifth at Duquesne and tying for 10th at the Mid-Con Championships. Senior Allen Mitchell saved his best for last, earning second team All-Mid-Con accolades with a tie for seventh in the seasonís final outing.
A lack of depth hurt the womenís team chances in the spring, with Minnich and junior Mara Mazzoni providing the only consistent play. Minnich had the best spring finish, a third at the Northern Kentucky Spring Invitational with a two-round 156 to earn her second Mid-Con Athlete of the Week award of the season. Mazzoni had a pair of sixth-place finishes, with her second coming at the Mid-Con Championships. Both her and Minnich, who finished two strokes behind Mazzoni, claimed second team All-Mid-Con honors.
With the core of the menís team returning for the 2003-04 season and a strong recruiting class coming in for the women, look for both squads to continue to improve their standing in the Mid-Con in the future.