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Waldorf finishes 14th in Mount Mercy Fall Classic

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy: Matt Oliver

MARION – Facing challenging competition in the second tournament of the fall season, the Waldorf University men’s golf team turned in a 14th-place finish in the Mount Mercy Fall Classic on Sunday.

“It was very outstanding competition with some of the best teams in the country,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. “It was good to be in the same tournament with those teams.”

The Warriors closed out the two-day tournament with a 36-hole score of 639 strokes. They put together a 325-stroke round during the opening day and improved to 314 in the final round.

“We’re definitely showing some steady improvement from tournament to tournament,” Clouse said. “We seem to be trending in the right direction, which is good to have that early on, and we look for that to continue.”

Sophomore Zabdiel Flores and senior Thomas O’Rourke led the Warriors, tying for 48th with 156-stroke totals. Flores fired rounds of 76 and 80 while O’Rourke carded rounds of 80 and 76.

Waldorf senior Hugo Becerra tied for 68th, shooting a 160 on rounds of 81 and 79.

Senior Austin Sommer competed as an individual and tied for 78th with a 165 following rounds of 82 and 83.

Freshman Justin Pierce tied for 85th for the Warriors, providing a 167 behind rounds of 88 and 79. Senior Chad Hein finished 99th with a 181 after completing rounds of 91 and 90.

Indian Hills Community College, ranked No. 1 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I poll, captured the tournament title with 573 strokes. Mount Mercy University (587) is ranked No. 20 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) preseason poll and locked up second. Missouri Valley College (590) claimed third, NJCAA Division II’s No. 3 Kirkwood Community College (591) earned fourth and Culver-Stockton College (592) rounded out a competitive top five.

NCAA Division III’s Nebraska Wesleyan University (610) placed sixth ahead of Graceland University (611), Mount Mercy’s B Team (612), Missouri Valley’s C Team (613), NCAA Division II’s Quincy University (615), St. Ambrose University (617), Black Hawk College (620), NCAA Division III’s Simpson College (633), Waldorf (639), along with NCAA Division III programs Wartburg College (643), Coe College (662) and Buena Vista University (709). St. Ambrose is receiving votes in the NAIA preseason poll.

Mount Mercy’s Sergio Garcia and Kirkwood’s Jordan Even tied for first place with 4-under-par scores of 140. Garcia secured top medalist honors via a tiebreaker.

The two-day tournament prepares the Warriors for a busy week ahead. Waldorf competes in Monday’s NIACC Fall Invitational at Fort Dodge, starting at 10:30 a.m.

The Warriors face NCAA Division III’s Iowa Wesleyan University in a match-play battle for the Purple Cup on Saturday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Forest City’s Bear Creek Golf Course. Rounding out the weekend, they host the Waldorf Invitational on Sunday at 11 a.m.

“It’ll be good to get another competition in on Monday,” Clouse said. “It’s supposed to be very good weather, so it’ll be a good way to see where our games are at, so we can pinpoint what we need to focus on in practice to be at our best.”