AURORA — Well, that went quicker than expected.
Ohio’s final tournament of the season, the Mid-American Conference Championship, was cut unexpectedly short due to a near-constant downpour of rain over the weekend. The Bobcats managed to tie for sixth place with a team score of 603 (+27) after the second round, which ultimately became the last round of play after coaches decided to cancel the third and final round due to rain.
Club Walden has been described by the MAC as one of the most challenging courses in Ohio, and the poor playing conditions didn’t help, either. The wet and cold wore at the Bobcats, and they finished the first round Saturday morning at 22-over-par.
Once the course had dried, the Bobcats shaved many of the mistakes that plagued them in the morning.
Ohio was led by its four sophomores on Saturday, and they helped move the Bobcats from seventh place to sixth in the second round. Zach Crawford posted a total of 5-over-par and tied for 13th place. Zach Mandry was consistent and brought two rounds of 3-over-par to tie for 18th place. Austin Dyson moved up a spot on the leaderboard and tied for 36th after he shot 1-over-par in the second round and improved on a rough 10-over-par score from the first round.
Coach Carter Cheves said he was proud of how the team played today, and he knew that they would improve as the day went on and the course dried out.
“It was another tough condition day thanks to the rain,” Cheves said. “The course really settled down by afternoon and the guys really turned the corner and played a lot better.”
Kent State and Eastern Michigan, who were leading after Saturday, were named 2018-19 Conference Co-Champions after tying with team scores of 581. Kent State won the MAC for the fourth year in a row and has won nine of the last ten championships. Eastern Michigan won its highest placement since the 2011-12 season when it finished second in the MAC.
Although their final tournament of the year was cut short before they could make a big splash, the Bobcats showed the improvements made under Coach Cheves have been paying off. They’re hoping the 2019-2020 season will bring further improvement and success to the program.