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Men and women's teams end weekend tournament in top spots

On April 24, 2012

The men and women of the DePauw golf team traveled to Meadville, Penn. over the weekend for the opening of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament.

The men finished in second overall, in spite of some difficult playing conditions.

Sophomore Graham Singer finished the weekend in second place overall and credits his mental toughness for his success in overcoming the cold and windy conditions.

"The conditions were really tough, and it definitely affected my game," Singer explained. "I had to make sure that I was keeping my glove and grips dry so that I would be able to hold on to the club."

Singer said the inclement weather demanded patience and a strong positive mentality, he reminded himself that all the other players were under the same pressure.

Singer said he feels the team is in a solid position heading into this weekend's final round of the NCAC tournament, which is being held at Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio).

"Being in second is great. I don't feel any pressure because I know who I have to beat," Singer said. "I'm also playing really well right now so my confidence is high and that is probably the most important aspect of playing good golf under pressure."

The rest of the Tiger team shot a combined 614 on the weekend and trail just behind Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio) that is in first place with a score of 601.

Vince Lazar, head coach of both the men and the women, was proud of the way the men handled the adverse conditions.

"They accepted the fact that this is a 90 hole tournament and they were much more patient than I've ever seen them," Lazar said. "They looked fantastic from that aspect and that translated into good scores."

The nationally third-ranked women's team finished the first round of its conference tournament in first place after shooting a 644 on the weekend. Lazar said the women were able to finish first despite not playing their best golf.

"Relative to how the girls have played all year, yes they won, but I would tell you they did not play as well as they have played all year," Lazar said.

Lazar said the nature of the course, which he called "extremely silly," was a negative factor for the girls. He also mentioned that Allegheny College (Meadville Penn.), that is currently in second with a total score of 656, had an advantage playing on its home course.

Despite the course and the conditions, senior Kelly Gaughan was the field leader with a weekend score of 157. Gaughan also shot a tournament-low 76 on Sunday. As a senior, Gaughan understands how to stay poised when the weather turns for the worst.

"It was like 30 something degrees, it was raining, so I had to stay pretty mentally strong in order to play well," Gaughan said. "I putted really well this weekend and I feel like I stayed really composed for the type of weather that there was and I think that's why I played well."

Gaughan and the Tigers hope to hold onto the lead going into the final round of the conference tournament.

"(We have to) just kind of do what we did last weekend," Gaughan said. "Staying mentally tough and just shoot what we've been shooting. If we shoot what we've been shooting so far we'll win."

Lazar stressed the importance of a strong week of practice for both squads to keep the momentum going into this weekend.

"We need to have a good week of practice and really just play each shot and not get caught up in scores or what they're shooting individually," Lazar said.

Both teams will travel to Oberlin College this upcoming weekend to finish the NCAC tournament. The women hope a conference win will boost their national reputation and earn an automatic qualifier into the national championships in May. The men must win the tournament to make nationals. 

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