Oaklandís Menís Golf Team Places Itself Among Mid-Con Best In 2003-04
At the start of the season Oakland head menís golf coach Dave DeWulf knew that he had a strong team set up for the start of the season, but no one expected the Golden Grizzlies to come out of the gate and win five straight team tournament titles. But that is exactly what Oakland did, and the Golden Grizzlies went on to record one of the most successful seasons in the history of the program. Despite a disappointing sixth-place finish at the Mid-Con Championships, Oakland still won a record total of seven team titles and saw one of its own win medalist honors five times.
Stuard went on to lead Oakland all season, setting a new school record with his stroke average of 72.36, which was also the top mark in the Mid-Con. Over the course of the season he won four individual titles, picking up wins at the Butler Spring Invitational, the Bellarmine Intercollegiate and the Mussato/Beau Classic in addition to his title at the Bulldog Fall Invitational. In 12 outings, Stuard finished in the top-10 in every one; 10 times finishing among the top-five.
After their win at Ferris State, the Golden Grizzlies kept up their torrid pace, getting wins at the John Piper Invitational by 14 strokes, at the Butler Fall Invitational by six, at the Champion Lakes by six and at their own Golden Grizzly Invitational by 15 strokes. At home redshirt freshman Rob Reynolds came up with his best performance of the season, firing an opening round of 67 on his way to a two-stroke win over teammate Ryan Yelen.
Oakland closed out the fall portion of its schedule at the prestigious MacDonald Cup hosted by Yale. While OUís win streak came to an end, the Golden Grizzlies still finished an impressive fifth in the strong 18-team field, with sophomore Jon Pauli leading the team with a pair of 71s that place him fifth in the final standings.
Starting the spring at the Butler Spring Invitational, Oakland finished third, led by Stuardís first place finish. For the rest of the spring OU never finished out of the top-five until the Mid-Con Championships, getting back-to-back wins at Bellarmine and Cleveland State. Oakland came close to making it three in a row at the Mussato/Beau Classic. Led by Stuardís first-place finish Oakland just missed first-place as a team by just three strokes.
Coming in as the favorite to win its first Mid-Con golf title, Oakland stumbled on the first day, trailing by nine shots after the first round. That proved to be too much ground to make up for OU and the Golden Grizzlies had to settle for sixth. Stuard was again the bright mark for Oakland, finishing in a tie for fifth overall to earn first team All-Mid-Con honors for the second straight year.