College of the Ozarks men’s and women’s golf teams resumed their 2018-19 season by traveling to Prattville, Alabama to play in the February 25-26 Faulkner Invitational on the Robert Trent Jones Capitol Hill course.
It was the first time in over four months the teams have competed in a tournament. Both teams were put to the test, having had very limited practice or playing time on the course due to the cold and wet Branson weather. Needless to say, they were quite pleased to experience Alabama temperatures in the mid-60’s—with sunshine—over the two-day event.
The par-72 tournament course at Capitol Hill is links-style and features pot-hole bunkers, mounds of 20 to 40 feet in height, and a great deal of high, native grass. The beautifully manicured greens of Bermuda grass are very large, producing putting challenges for even the most seasoned of golfers.
The competition was strong for the men, featuring Savannah College of Art & Design-Atlanta (SCAD), who finished in first place with a two-day total of 582 (+6), host Faulkner University (2nd, 594, +18), Freed-Hardeman (3rd, 604, +28), and Indiana Tech (4th, 605, +29), as well as Lyon College, Faulkner’s B team, Capital University, and Crowley’s Ridge.
The Bobcats finished eighth of nine teams, shooting 651 (+75) for the two-day event. Jon Bell and Caleb Davis led the Bobcats, tying for 25th place overall with a two-day score of 157. Both shot rounds of 78 on Monday and 79 on Tuesday. Marcos Devoto improved his first-day score of 86 to shoot 80 on Tuesday and finish in 41st place with a 166. Ricardo Devoto and Isaac Franklin tied for 48th with a two-day score of 175. Franklin dropped 7 shots from Monday’s round to shoot an 84 on Tuesday.
The Lady Cats competed against SCAD, who took first place with a two-day total of 627 (+51), Faulkner University (2nd, 632, +56), and Thomas University (3rd, 645, +69), along with Campbellsville University, Capital University, and Cincinnati Christian.
The Lady Cats finished in eighth place with a score of 742. Kate Voss led the Lady Cats with rounds of 89 both days, taking 21st place. Hannah Aherin was close behind in 23rdplace with rounds of 92-89. Ashley Stanphill shot two rounds of 93 for a 28th place tie, and Kaylee Theime finished in 36thplace, improving her second-day score by 14 strokes.
“It was great to get out and play some golf in warm weather,” noted Head Coach Chris Larsen. “We definitely have work to do as we continue improving our short game and putting approach, but for the most part, it was a good start to the spring season.”
Both teams will have a short break in tournament action, with their next competition taking place at the Central Baptist College Invitational in Conway, Arkansas on March 18 and 19. In the meantime, the teams will be eagerly looking for some warmer and drier practice conditions in order to hone their skills on their home course.
Note: Full tournament results are available on each team's schedule page of the CofO Athletics website..