By Clare Bruning
The Lawrence University Golf season came to a close last weekend as the team competed at the Midwest Conference (MWC) Championships at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford, Ill. The Vikings finished fifth of seven scoring teams after three days out on the links. St. Norbert College took first place, followed closely by Carroll University and Monmouth College.
Leading the Vikings was sophomore Nigel Schuster, who claimed third place in the conference by steadily climbing the ranks. On Thursday, April 30, Schuster settled into an eleventh place tie with 81, and on Friday, improved to a 75, the fourth-lowest round of the second day. On Saturday, he carded a 78 on the par 72 to finish tied for third.
“The key this weekend was consistency, staying in the game the first two days,” said Schuster. “The guy who won plays absolutely boring golf, but posted a good score every day. That’s what we have to work on over the next year.”
Schuster was referring to Monmouth College’s Drake Decker, who carded a 73 on the first day of the tournament, before finishing out with a pair of 77s for a total of 227, five below second-place Henry Mulvey of Carroll University and seven below Schuster’s 234.
Also performing well for Lawrence was sophomore Nathan Ley, who carded 78s the first two days, and rounded it out with an 83 for 239 and a three-way tie for tenth place. The top-10 finishers earned all-conference honors, and two all-conference players helped propel the Vikings into a respectable team finish.
Senior Anton Olsson finished 20, carding 85 the first day, 80 the second and 84 the third for a total of 249. Freshman Ryan Clark, sophomore Ryan Eardley and freshman Austin Frank finished as a trio in 39th, 40th and 41st respectively.
“The whole team clearly looks up to our graduating senior Anton Olsson,” said Schuster. “Over four years he has led our team by posting great scores each week, and off the course, he was always entertaining. While golf is primarily an individual sport, I would not have achieved as much as an individual. We motivate each other to improve each day. Most importantly, though, between rounds, we can laugh about some of our mistakes we made and have a good time as a team.”
At the close of the season, Schuster is already looking ahead to big things. “Anton leaves a big hole in the team next year,” he admitted. “Our big goal is to win conference. It is a difficult goal, but not impossible. I personally want to take the lead on the team next year, and I am determined to win conference individually.”