By Danielle Templin
The Viterbo men’s golf team has been off to a fast start this season. The team opened with a first place finish on Sept. 1 at the Edgewood College Invite and has continued to place among the top contenders at each tournament.
So far this season, the men’s team has been led by senior and co-captain Shawn Keenan, who placed fifth in the team’s opening invite in September, shooting a 73 in the first round, followed by a 74 in the second round.
With a young V-Hawk squad of nine underclassmen, Keenan, and fellow seniors, Billy Pearse and Jordan Kerska, look to keep the momentum going. While the seniors look to guide the talented young group, two underclassmen, freshman Matt Garrison and sophomore James DeBoer, have topped the V-Hawk team statistics with second and third place finishes at the team’s past two invites.
“The win we picked up at the start of the year has given our team a lot of confidence,”Keenan said. “The team we have is very young, and it was great to show the young guys that we are really out here to win and we are highly competitive.”
Keenan’s success hasn’t started just this season. Last fall season, Keenan finished with medalist honors in the conference tournament, leading the V-Hawk team to a third place finish.
“My strong finish in the conference tournament last year really showed me what I am capable of as a player,” Keenan said. “My expectation for our team is high this year, and I’m excited to see where our season is going to bring us.”
If Keenan wishes to finish this season just as powerfully as last season, he admits there are weaknesses in his game he looks to improve upon.
“I feel that if I wish to further improve my scores I need to start getting closer to the hole 100 yards and in,”Keenan said. “Sometimes it’s tough to put a good score together when you’re not getting the ball close to the hole.”
Just as Keenan looks to improve upon his short game the rest of the season, he also admits it has been an area where the entire team has struggled this season.
“Our team could really use some improvement in the short game area,” Keenan stated. “We notice that the best teams just find a way to get the ball in the hole. There are days they don’t seem to hit well, but they just get the ball in the hole somehow. I believe, when our team accomplishes this, we will get to where we want to be and that is a national championship.”
The V-Hawks hope to have their short game cleaned up for the remainder of the season, allowing them to convert their fourth and fifth place finishes into tournament title wins.
The V-Hawks will be tested this weekend, when they host the Ronnie Eastman Invitational at the La Crosse Country Club, in Onalaska, Oct. 7 and 8. The following weekend the V-Hawks wrap up their fall season at the St. Ambrose Invitational.