September 24th, 2004: Men's Golf Fall Review

Kris Schmelzer

Rarely does a team that plays the majority of its annual schedule in the spring make big news during the fall "non-traditional" season, but the Wittenberg men's golf team did just that recently. The Tigers took advantage of home course advantage in the Wittenberg Invitational to capture first place.

While claiming the top spot in a strong 11-team field is always noteworthy, it was more so in this case because it was the first tournament win for the Wittenberg men's golf program since 1997, when the Tigers took team medalist honors at Hanover. A week after turning in a solid seventh-place finish at the Ohio Valley College Invitational on Sept. 12, Wittenberg claimed first place by one stroke over North Coast Athletic Conference rival Wooster. Unlike the previous week, when the 15-team field was exclusively NCAA Division II and NAIA scholarship programs, Wittenberg took first place at its own invitational while facing many of the same teams vying for national qualification consideration out of the always competitive Great Lakes Region.

Junior Kris Schmelzer (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) had his best finish as a collegian in the event, which was played at Windy Knoll Golf Club on Saturday and Reid Memorial Golf Course on Sunday, as he finished second with a 153. Also making the top 20 were senior Andy Bonar (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) with a 155, good for fourth place, and sophomore Scott Aker (Springfield, Ohio/Shawnee) with a 157, good for 10th place. All five Tiger golfers placed in the top 27 on the weekend.

The Tigers are back in action Saturday and Sunday at the Denison Fall Invitational at Granville Golf Club. Several of the top teams in the NCAC are entered in the competition, making it a key early season event.