Wind takes round two of golf tournament

The USI men’s golf team competed for the final time before the GLVC Tournament in the Midwest Regional #3 Sunday and Monday. Only the first round counted in the final score because of unplayable wind conditions Monday.

With 314 strokes after round one, USI finished 21st out of 29 teams.

Head coach, Daniel Wyatt, said the team is still young with only one senior, Grant Saylor, on the roster, and it is improving with each tournament they play in.

“I would say it’s a learning process for them more than anything,” Wyatt said. “It helps them understand what it is to be in pressure situations.”

He said, even though the team finished in the middle of the pack, he’s satisfied because of what the team had to overcome with the weather playing a factor and one of their “better players,” Preston Van Winkle, having to withdraw due to an injury.   

“Round one, it was a little more calm and not nearly as bad,” Wyatt said. “Round two, in the early morning, we were dealing with 20 or 30 mph wind gusts, and it definitely makes the game harder.”

Van Winkle, who shot a 78 in the first round, finished tied for 74th and said he started feeling pain in his left side during round one on the 13th hole, but he was able to “gut it out the last few holes.”

He said the muscle spasms started getting worse a few weeks ago and the pain is always there, but sometimes it hurts worse than normal.

“It started in our first tournament of the spring when we were in Florida,” Van Winkle said. “I’ve been to two doctors and a chiropractor and had x-rays, and they’re stumped.”

Van Winkle tried to compete in round two, but only made it through four holes before withdrawing.

With the GLVC Tournament beginning in two weeks, Van Winkle said he hopes to be healthy by then, which is the first thing he needs to focus on.

“I have two weeks to heal up,” Van Winkle said. “I have to get healthy; that’s the main thing. I’ve been playing pretty well lately; I just have to stay healthy.”