By Calli Newberry
Led by freshman Logan Palmateer, the St. Clair County Community College golf team placed fifth at this year’s NJCAA Region XII Division II Championship.
The three-round tournament took place on Monday and Tuesday at the St. Clair Golf Club, giving the Skippers a familiar place to play for their last competition of the season.
“That was nice. Our guys know that course and have played it. The weather was really good, it was windy, but it was warm which we hadn’t had much of this year,” head coach Dale Vos said. “It was tough conditions to play golf because of the wind, but I think they’d trade that for the warm weather.”
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Teams golfed two rounds on Monday and finished with one on Tuesday. Vos said Monday was a busy day for the team, taking only a short break for “a hot dog and chips and a drink” and then heading back to the course.
Palmateer led the Skippers, shooting an 83-78 – 161 on Monday, followed by 90 on Tuesday, for a combined total of 251 to take 15th place overall.
“If we had a lightning storm and couldn’t play on Tuesday, [Palmateer] would have qualified [for the national tournament],” Vos said. “He was in [qualification] when we left on Monday night and then he ended up missing it by four shots.”
Not too far behind Palmateer was sophomore Connor Mahn, who placed 18th overall (87-80-91 – 258). And tying for 20th, freshman Ryan McNeil shot an 84-90-86 – 260.
“On Monday, Ryan had a tough day [but led the team on Tuesday], so we just couldn’t get it together on the same day. I think if you ask them, they’d say they were a little disappointed with how they played. Honestly, a little bit that’s just golf,” Vos said. “I think golfers, in general, don’t leave the course thinking of all the good shots they hit, they think of all the bad shots they hit, it’s just the weird mindset with golf.”
But Vos said he’s confident that the regional tournament – and the season overall – has laid a solid foundation for next season as both Palmateer and McNeill will return to the team.
“I think it will help Ryan and Logan, especially Logan because he knows how close he was. A learning lesson for him was that he went into Monday thinking he had to play great because he was trying to qualify for nationals. But what ended up happening was that the other people with him competing for that spot struggled as well, so as it turned out, he didn’t have to play that great on Monday,” Vos said. “I think he put a little too much pressure on himself to play great.”
“I think we all left the season going, ‘We feel like we should’ve been or could’ve been or maybe even are better than that,’” Vos said. “I think at the end of the summer, all of those guys will play better golf than they did in the spring.”