Men’s golf struggles at Erin Hills

By Tom Burton

The men’s golf team improved in each round of the Erin Hills Intercollegiate but finished 14th overall Tuesday in Erin, Wisconsin.

The Huskies (312-305-299 – 916) were unable to rebound from their rough start as they rounded out the leaderboard after the first day.

Head coach Tom Porten said his top players such as redshirt senior Joo Young-Lee and junior Thomas DeMarco couldn’t find their rhythm throughout the week and it was a struggle as a team.

“When you’re relying on your [No.] three, four and five guys to carry [the team], it’s a struggle to get the tournament underway and get off to a good start,” Porten said.

The Huskies were led by junior Salvador Rocha, who finished in the top 40 after shooting a 75 in the first two rounds.

Porten said the conditions of the golf course played a part in the team struggles, as the course was dry with firm fairways and greens.

“There are several blind tee shots with different wind directions,” Porten said. “Some holes played really hard in relation to par.”

Porten said he was proud of the way his team continued to battle after being too far from contention in the tournament, especially in the later rounds.

“I’m encouraged with the way we finished the tournament,” Porten said. “We could have just packed it in and turned our attention to [the next tournament], but we didn’t. We played our best round under the hardest conditions [Tuesday].”

In only his second career start, sophomore Michael Mattas (85-77-76 – 238) struggled in the first round but improved throughout the tournament.

“[Mattas] had some nerves and hit a couple of [bad] shots early on but he really helped [the team] a lot [Monday] and [Tuesday],” Porten said. “[Mattas] bounced back from that first round and had two counting [scores] for us] and it was good to see.”

Porten said the coaching staff will re-evaluate the lineup for their next tournament as they only have three days before the next event.

The Huskies will travel to the Windon Memorial Classic and play three rounds over the course of Sunday and Monday at Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, Illinois.