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Ospreys swing in to season with seventh place finish

The UNF men’s golf team concluded its first tournament of the season Sept. 12 after finishing tied with Missouri for seventh place in the Wolf Run Intercollegiate at the Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville, Ind.

A year removed from finishing second at Wolf Run, the Ospreys concluded their final round by posting a 298 to bring their tournament total to 888 for a 36-over-par. The finish is somewhat of a disappointment since the Ospreys had high expectations entering the season, said head coach Scott Schroeder. However, Schroeder said he isn’t too worried about his team after the first tournament of the year.

“The guys struggled a little bit,” he said. “It was not near as well as we would hope. But it’s the first tournament of the year, so you don’t really want to count too much for this one event.”

A big reason for the high expectations the Ospreys had entering the season was the summer some of the individuals had. Juniors Kevin Aylwin and Sean Dale and Sophomore Kevin Phelan recently finished up play at the U.S. Amateur Championship. Junior Major Forbess took first place at the Jacksonville Area Golf Association Amateur Championship. The Ospreys also had a number of players participate in the U.S. Public Links Golf Championship. To top it off, Dale won the 93rd Florida State Amateur Championship, and Phelan played in the 2010 U.S. Open.

“We’ve had good summers a bunch of summers in a row, so our expectations are high,” Schroeder said. “Our expectations are to get back to regionals and then to get back to the NCAA finals.”

Phelan started his sophomore season off with a top-five finish. Phelan took fifth place individually, posting a score of 215 for a 2-over-par for the tournament.

“I played pretty well,” Phelan said. “I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I gave myself a lot chances. My chipping was pretty good, so I saved par most of the time.”

Teammate Aylwin posted the second best performance for the Ospreys. He finished in 23rd place with a 223, 10-over-par. Senior Chris Kennedy and junior Joe Byun both finished the tournament with a 228, 15-over-par and tied for 47th place. Forbess took 69th place with a 234, 21-over-par.

The Ospreys’ next tournament will be at the Gary Koch Collegiate Oct. 2-3 in Tampa. However, they look to make some improvements before they head south for their second tournament of the season, Aylwin said.

“We need to clean up our rounds,” Aylwin said. “There is a lot of mistakes that shouldn’t be made by almost everybody in every round, so that needs to be cleaned up.”

In order to clean up their rounds, Phelan said they need to play more consistently.

“It’s just eliminating the bad shots,” Phelan said.

Despite the disappointing season debut, the Ospreys are glad to have started the season and Phelan said it was nice to be out playing college golf after a successful summer break.

“I really enjoyed last year,” Phelan said. “It’s fun to get back in the swing of things this year. I like our team atmosphere. I really enjoy it.”

The University of Illinois took first place with a score of 859. The University of Central Florida and Ball State University finished tied for second with an 878, while Tulsa took fourth with an 880 for the tournament. Northwestern and Indiana University both shot an 882 to finish tied for fifth.

UCF’s Connor Arendell won the individual title posting a 208, 5-under-par.

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