Men’s side has age, not golf ex­pe­ri­ence

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - SEAN ROONEY srooney@medicine­hat­news.com Twit­ter: MHN Rooney

Look at the Medicine Hat Rat­tlers men’s golf team and you’d think they’re more ex­pe­ri­enced than they are.

There’s Derek Whit­son and Kent Lesko, both older guys in their 20’s who you wouldn’t mis­take for first and sec­ondyear mem­bers of the squad. Whit­son’s com­peted at the Par­a­lympics, for good­ness sakes. Twice.

David Cold­ham’s beard be­lies his first-year sta­tus. Brady Resch is only listed as a sec­ond-year player be­cause he orig­i­nally came to the school as a bas­ket­ball player. He’s still do­ing that, by the way.

When it’s all said and done, fourthyear cap­tain Matthaus Tay­lor is in fact the sec­ondy­oungest of the group. And he says while the home course ad­van­tage could play a role once play be­gins at Cana­dian Col­le­giate Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion fi­nals Tues­day morn­ing, it’s the ma­tu­rity of the men that will go fur­ther in a year they re­ally aren’t ex­pected to con­tend in the team event.

“A bunch of new guys, maybe they don’t have a lot of col­lege golf ex­pe­ri­ence but they have ex­pe­ri­ence in sports,” said Tay­lor. “I think guys on this team re­al­ize there’s more to life than golf. If they play a bad round, come out and play a bet­ter round to­mor­row.”

Tay­lor him­self has had to deal with that this sea­son. Though he fin­ished sixth in­di­vid­u­ally at the Al­berta Col­leges Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships in Red Deer, shoot­ing rounds of 79 and 75, he knows he can play bet­ter.

“It’s been in­ter­est­ing,” he said. “I’d say it’s men­tally pre­pared me pretty well for this cham­pi­onship, it’s been frus­trat­ing to be hon­est. I’m just not scor­ing, haven’t got the putter work­ing.”

Medicine Hat was sixth out of seven teams at the Al­berta fi­nals, four strokes back of a fourth-place fin­ish. Na­tion­als tends to be dom­i­nated by other con­fer­ences any­how; Uni­ver­sity of the Fraser Val­ley (B.C.) is ranked first and will de­fend its ti­tle from last year. They’re led by re­turn­ing in­di­vid­ual na­tional champ Daniel Camp­bell.

On­tario’s Hum­ber Col­lege (third in 2017) is ranked sec­ond and Que­bec cham­pion Cegep An­dre-Lau­ren­deau is ranked third.

For Tay­lor to make some noise he’ll need to take ad­van­tage of his fa­mil­iar­ity with the course at Desert Blume.

The 11 men’s and eight women’s teams plus a hand­ful of in­di­vid­ual qual­i­fiers ar­rive this week­end, play a prac­tice round Mon­day and start the 72-hole event Tues­day.

NEWS PHOTO SEAN ROONEY

Matthaus Tay­lor fol­lows through on a swing at the Desert Blume driv­ing range Wed­nes­day.

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