Loss of key player proves too much for golf to overcome at tournament
Coming into the Horizon League Championships, the men’s golf team knew they had to play well in order to overcome the loss of star freshman Cody Nickson, who was out for the remaining two tournaments due to an injury.
But unfortunately, the team did not have its best week on the course and ended up placing fifth in the conference tournament to finish out the season.
The tournament was held at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. this past weekend.
“We did not play near our potential over the weekend, which made it pretty frustrating,” said senior Jordan Higgins. “It really hurt us not having Cody (Nickson) in the lineup; he was one of our top contributors all season long.”
Higgins and fellow senior Scott Thompson teed it up for the last time as Raiders shooting three round totals of 237 and 228 which placed them in ties for 29th and 11th. Higgins finished with a season scoring average of 75.7 and Thompson ended with an average of 74.9.
“These past four years have been a blast playing for the Raiders and I am sure going to miss playing college golf and being around Scott and all of my teammates,” said Higgins.
Leading the way for the team at conference was sophomore Cody Fixari who finished off a stellar season with his 4th top 10 finish and a three round total of 227. He ended the season with a scoring average of 73.7, which ranks fifth among all players in Raider history for a single season.
Sophomore Ricky Denny and red shirt senior Paul VanDeventer rounded out the scoring for the team with totals of 236 and 243, which were good enough for finishes of tied for 25th and solo 39th.
The Raiders finished with a three day team total of 924, finishing 15 strokes behind The University of Loyola-Chicago who took home the team title with a three day score of 909. Chad Ebert of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay was the top individual finisher with a score of 222.
Over the course of the season, the team had its best finish in the fall at the UK Bluegrass Invitational where it finished in 3rd place out of 15 teams. Next season, the Raiders will return five players with a few key recruits coming in.
“I think the team will be really good next year,” said Higgins. “As long as the guys keep working hard over the summer and the new recruits contribute early on I think the team has a great future ahead of it.”