The golf teams starts their season strong

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The golf teams starts their season strong

The team finishes up practice with some words of wisdom from Coach Williams.

The team finishes up practice with some words of wisdom from Coach Williams.

Photo by Amanda Aylwin

The team finishes up practice with some words of wisdom from Coach Williams.

Photo by Amanda Aylwin

Photo by Amanda Aylwin

The team finishes up practice with some words of wisdom from Coach Williams.

By Amanda Aylwin, Sports Editor

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The Owens Express golf team is off to a strong start this season with three first place finishes and one second place finish.  Lead by third year, two-time reigning OCCAC and Region XII coach of the year Josh Williams, along with first year assistant Mike Jamieson, the team consists of a talented and diverse group of young men. Williams says, “The team this year is very unique. It’s very nice to see a good mix of guys who can all share their knowledge with each other, while being from different parts of the world.”

Out of the three returning sophomores, two of them are from abroad. Philippe Weppernig is from Luzern, Switzerland; Harrison Long is from Tamworth, U.K.; and Dru Hein is from Jasper,  Indiana. The four freshman are from different parts of the country as well. Christian Bienaime came up from Altamonte Springs, Florida; Dominic DiGiacomo is from Ocean City, New Jersey; Wyatt Spalding is from Petersburg, Michigan and Kaden Isaacson comes over from Nampa, Idaho. Isaacson is the first student athlete in any sport from Idaho to attend Owens.

The team shot a combined 304 in the first round, finishing four strokes behind going into the final day. On the last day, the team shot a 309 in its match-up to finish in second while shooting a 613 overall at Lost Marsh Golf Course in Hammond, Indiana. Williams said,” I was pleased how everybody played, but not satisfied and I know the guys were not too.”

Long  lead the team, shooting 71-73-144. That put Owens nine strokes behind the first place Carthage College. Fellow sophomore Weppernig finished 15th overall and shot a 79-77-156.

Freshman DiGiacomo finished the tournament tied for seventh place shooting 73-79-152. Bienaime finished the tournament tied for 21st place shooting 82-80-162 while fellow teammate Spalding tied for 25th shooting an 81-82-163.

When speaking about the tournament Williams explains, “The team did pretty good this past tournament, it was an extremely difficult and challenging golf course, plus the bad weather conditions. We had some hiccups that stopped us from achieving our full potential, but they are easy fixes.”

In the two years since Williams has taken over as head coach,  he has led the program to the best two-year stretch in the program’s history. The team has back-to-back OCCAC championships; 29 tournament wins; back-to-back OCCAC Ryder Cup tournament championships;  back-to-back Sub-Region XII tournament championships; and back-to-back Region XII tournament championships.

Jamieson adds,” Coach Williams runs his program like a top NCAA Division One school and it shows with his ability to recruit and coach. I wouldn’t have moved my family across the country if I didn’t believe in his ability as a coach and Owens as a school.”

The golf team has a break until its next competitive match Oct. 11, 2014 when it tees off against Cincinnati State at the Cincinnati State Fall Invitational at Weatherwax Golf Course in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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