By Taylor Smth
The annual tournament was held at Columbus Country Club last Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The Bishops finished 12th out of 12, 58 shots behind tournament champion and conference rival Wittenberg.
The Gordin Classic features the top 11 NCAA Division III teams from the previous year’s NCAA championship tournament and OWU. Ohio Wesleyan has hosted the tournament since 1991 and it is the first time the Gordin Classic has been held north of the Mason-Dixon line.
The tournament is named in honor of longtime Ohio Wesleyan golf coach Dick Gordin, who coached the Bishops from 1955 to 1993. Named the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1993, he led 22 of his final 25 teams to the NCAA Division III or College Division championship tournaments. Gordin brought home six top-5 finishes in his final eight years of coaching and 12 league titles (7 Ohio Athletic Conference and 5 NCAC) over a span of five decades.
Men’s head golf coach Ian Miller said while he the scores weren’t great, he was pleased with the team’s effort.
“They all gave good effort all the way through even if they didn’t play well, as far as scores are concerned, but they stuck to the game plans and they remained pretty patient out there,” he said.
Miller said the team once again struggled most with their own confidence, more than any other part of their game.
“We just need to play with more confidence and more, what I call, ‘hate to lose’—sometimes when things aren’t going well you just have to will it in the hole, for a lack of a better term, and I don’t think we’re doing a real good job with that right now,” he said.
The team was sitting in sixth place, their overall finish at last year’s Gordin Classic, after shooting a combined 304 during the first round on Monday. However, Miller said the team failed to maintain momentum and stay confident during Monday’s second round as they fell to a tie for 10th place, 35 shots behind the leader, St. John Fisher College.
Freshman Chris Pavelic was tied for 12th among individuals after shooting a one below par 71 in the second round and before his struggles midway through the third round. He finished tied for 29th with a nine-over-par 225.
Pavelic agreed with his coach and said the team struggled with their confidence during the second and third rounds. He added that he felt struggled with multiple aspect of his game aside from confidence and was not happy with his performance or confidence.
“Being our home tournament I felt that we were very pressured to do outstanding,” he said. “We had a little too much riding on our shoulders and we just didn’t go out and perform the way we should’ve. Myself in particular I was lost on the golf course, I wasn’t focused to my full potential and I wasn’t hitting the shots I needed to hit.”
Sophomore Mitch Rice also said the team’s confidence was low, bgut he thought he did do other things well.
“I felt like I had great course management by just playing smart all week,” he said. “I felt like I may have struggled a bit with my tee shots. Basically putting myself out of position on a few of the key par-fours.”
The team has two more tournaments before the conclusion of the fall season; the next will be Oct. 13 to Oct. 14 at the Peter C. Rossin Memorial Tournament in Canonsburg, Pa.
Miller said the Gordin Classic gave the team an excellent learning experience and a sense of urgency, but it must now handle that urgency and turn in good scores.
“We’re going to talk everyday in practice about being more competitive and hating to lose, desire to go out and win,” he said. “Those feelings and thoughts if you carry that to practice everyday and then carry it to tournaments–that’s where confidence comes from.”