Setting the Scene:
The Wittenberg University golf team featured three freshmen, a
sophomore and a junior in its starting lineup the majority of the
spring 2003 season, yet the Tigers put together a strong campaign
that bodes extremely well for the future. The Tigers posted a
winning head-to-head tournament record for the first time in
several years and, although they finished fifth in the nine-team
North Coast Athletic Conference, Wittenberg improved its team score
by 31 strokes from 2002 and placed two players on the All-NCAC
rolls for the second straight year.
The difference was the strength of the conference. Always featuring nationally ranked teams from Allegheny and Ohio Wesleyan, the NCAC in 2003 also included a surprising Denison outfit that finished ninth in the NCAA Division III Championships and Wooster, which ranked among the nations top-25 for a short time during the season. Wittenberg finished just one shot behind Wooster in the NCAC tourney and seven behind Allegheny with a 626.
Six of the nine players on the 2003 Wittenberg golf roster saw
varsity action during the spring season and all of them posted
scoring averages below 84.0:
• Sophomore Andy Bonar (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) played six spring tournaments and 10 rounds to post a team-best average of 77.8. That was .58 below the mark he posted a year ago.
His best rounds of the season came at the best time of the year - in the Ohio Wesleyan University Strimer Invitational in the second-to-last week of the year and at the NCAC Championship meet in the season finale on May 2-3. He posted 74-75 (149) scores at each of the two events, and placed among the top five against strong fields in each competition.
His best score ever was a 148 he posted at the Wooster Parlor Invitational en route to a third-place finish in 2002.
Bonar capped off his season with a third-place finish at the NCAC tourney, good for first-team All-NCAC honors a year after finishing sixth and garnering second-team all-conference honors.
• Freshman Kristopher Schmelzer (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) had a final average of 80.0 after playing six tournaments and 12 rounds. His best round was a 76, which he posted on two occasions, including on Day 2 of the first spring tournament at Muskingum College. He also had his best two-day total of 153 at the Muskingum Invitational, when he posted scores of 77 and 76.
• Freshman Clinton Anderson (Mechanicsburg, Ohio/Mechanicsburg) had an average score of 80.8 in five tournaments and 10 rounds.
Andersons best 18-hole total was a 154 at the NCAC Championships, which was played at Oberlin Golf Club. He shot 79 on the first day and then posted his best score of the season, a 75 on Day 2. That finish was good for 10th place in the conference competition and earned him second-team All-NCAC honors.
• Junior Adam Knowlton (Springfield,
Ohio/Shawnee) played six tournaments and 12 rounds during
the spring and posted an average of 80.9, compared to 81.33 a year
ago and an average of more than 83 strokes per round his freshman
His best round was a 76 on Day 1 of the spring season-opening Muskingum Invitational. Knowltons finest two-day effort came at the Ohio Wesleyan Strimer Invitational on the second-to-last weekend of the season. He carded back-to-back totals of 78 and 79 en route to a tie for 35th place against an outstanding field.
• Freshman Dane Sandridge (Westfield Center, Ohio/Lodi Cloverleaf) finished the season with an average of 81.0 in five tournaments and 10 rounds.
Sandridges best round of the year came at the Kenyon Cup, where he posted a second-day 76. His best overall score of the season came at the Wooster Parlor Restaurant Invitational as he turned in a two-round total of 158, thanks to scores of 81 and 77.
• Senior Jesse Fyffe (Chillicothe, Ohio/Chillicothe) had a final average of 83.3 after playing two tournaments and four rounds. His best round was a 76 on Day 2 at the Denison Spring Classic, ironically enough his last as a collegian. His best two-day total was a 166 at the spring season-opening Muskingum Invitational, when he posted scores of 82 and 84 on successive days.
Scott Isphording (Hanover 94) finished his first year as the teams head coach. In addition, he also has served as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator for the Tiger football program since 1998.