Bethel College golf update

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Sophomore Katie Powell reads the grain as she lines up the put. Powell recorded a two round team best of a score of 156 to lead the Pilots to victory.
Sophomore Katie Powell reads the grain as she lines up the put. Powell recorded a two round team best of a score of 156 to lead the Pilots to victory.
The Bethel men’s and women’s golf teams are in the middle of their spring season. Last weekend Bethel hosted the Big Time Challenge at Blackthorn golf course. The conditions were not favorable for the tournament as the winds were gusting  and the temperatures were in the 40s, but both the men’s and women’s team fought through the weather and managed a strong showing. The women’s golf team continued their spring season with another solid victory as they won their home tournament. The Pilots narrowly escaped with a victory as it was close for the entire two rounds. Bethel led after day one by five strokes over Hope College as Katie Powell shot an impressive 77 to lead the Pilots. Other Pilots who turned in strong first round performances were Melanie Day, Jessica Layman, and Beth Slusher. Day and Slusher both shot 83 in the first round while Layman carded an 81. The second round was just as close as the first as Bethel and Hope struggled to gain control of the tournament. It came down to the final few holes as Bethel came away with a four stroke win. Head Coach Danny Randolph was pleased with getting a win on their home course. “It is always great to win at home,” said Randolph. “The conditions were tough but we stepped up at the end and beat a good Hope team (ranked #16 in NCAA D3). Katie played well and led us.” The win marks the third win in three tournaments for the spring season. The other two tournaments that Bethel won were the IPFW Invitational and USF Spring Invite. Jessica Layman individually won both of these tournaments as well. With having such a young team this season Coach Randolph is pleased with the results up to this point. “This season has been outstanding,” stated Randolph. “After losing 3 very good seniors this year we have won 6 events and have a chance to return to Nationals in Rapid City, South Dakota.” The Pilots next compete in the Spring Preview this weekend in Alton Ill. at the Spencer T. Olin Golf Course. The men on the other hand struggled in the first round on Friday as they could never get into a rhythm. The team’s inconsistency led to a lackluster performance as they sat in sixth place out of nine teams at the end of round one. Leading the way for the Pilots in round one was Jon Enfield who carded a 79. No other Pilot golfer managed to break 80 on the round, and Bethel shot a combined 327 which left the team 18 shots behind the leader, St. Francis University of Illinois. Although the weather was just as bad if not worse for round two on Saturday, Bethel recorded much better scores and finished the tournament strong. The Pilots turned in the second lowest team score of the round with a 317. This propelled Bethel to a fourth place tournament finish. Leading the way for Bethel was again Jon Enfield. He shot an impressive 76 for the round. Two other Bethel golfers turned in sub 80 rounds. Eric Carnacchi and Greg Lebold each finished with a second round score of 78. While the men’s team has been inconsistent overall on the year they managed to win their first tournament in over two years. The tourney was called “The Thrill at the Hill” because it was played at the Donald Ross Hill Course in French Lick, Ind. The tournament lived up to its name as the Pilots managed to win the tournament in sudden death playoff. The Pilots had a formidable first round as the Pilots led by two strokes after the first day. Round two, the final round, didn’t start as planned. Bethel found themselves nine strokes behind the leader at the turn going into the final nine holes. The Pilots battled back and tied the leader, Indiana Tech, on the final hole as Lebold drained a 22 foot par putt to send the tournament into a playoff. Bethel went on to win the tourney in the playoff. Jon Enfield was the tournament medalist as he shot back to back 75s for a tournament total of 150. The next time men’s golf is in action is the MCC Conference Tournament on April 26. The tournament will be held in Kendalville, Ind. at Cobblestone Golf Course.
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