The Kirkwood Community College golf team kicked off their 2023 fall Campaign where they were competing at the Klocke Classic at Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course in Marion.
After winning the national championship last year Kirkwood wanted to start their season strong where they did secure a tournament win in their first tournament of the year.
Going into the tournament Head Coach Darin Pint emphasized the importance of preparation. “Golf is 90% mental and 10% physical, yes you can have talent but you have to have mental toughness because of how long you are going to be on that course and if you don’t, then you’re physical attributes are going to decline also,” he said.
Kirkwood had three sophomores Grant Greazel, Gannon Hall, and Frank Haege leading the way for team play which had freshmen, Quinn Tinkler, and Nate Offerman. Kirkwood also had four golfers Tate Brunk, Nathan Bratanata, Leo Burger, and Payton Burns competing as individuals.
At the end of day one for team play Kirkwood had sophomore Gannon Hall leading the way finishing three under par for the day with an amazing 7 birdies in at the first place spot in tournament with Grant Greazel, Quinn Tinker, and Nate Offerman finishing the day all even tied for fifth place as well as Frank Haege who finished 8 over par tied for 44th place on the day.
Day two saw a lot more success for the Eagles the team play was led from outstanding performances by Gannon Hall and Grant Greazel scoring five birdies on the front nine With also Quinn Tinkler going even for the day where the Eagles had all three golfers finish inside of the top three for the tournament’s team play.
Nathan Offerman was able to record five birdies on day two despite an up and down tournament still finishing in eighth place overall finishing four over with Frank Haege rounding it off with two over par on the day even further cementing Kirkwood into the first place spot for team play.
After the strong season opener Kirkwood will move on to play in the Wartburg Invite on Sept. 22 – 23 before going to Kansas City, Missouri to play in the Virginia McCoy Tournament.
Head Coach Darin Pint on how the sophomores have stepped up this season:
I think we knew with the four sophomores that we had coming back that we still had a pretty solid nucleus that we could build around. I would say Grant Greazel in particular, he really had a good summer. He played in some amateur events and really tested himself that way. So I knew he was gonna be sharp, coming in he leads by example but not only that he is a pretty vocal guy that is not afraid to speak up and really lead that way so grants been kind of in that [leadership] role.
Gannon Hall actually has had a really good fall so far. We haven’t played any tournaments [yet], but he’s actually leading us in stroke average for our qualifying rounds that we do on an every other day basis, so he’s stepped up [and] he’s been really good. And then we have Frank Haege and Nathan Bratanata coming back as well.
And Nate actually had a really good national tournament and I think he finished seventh in the country last year so it’s there but you know they kind of come and go as the sophomores do. I mean they’re the ones who kind of lead the way so we’ll see.
Head Coach Darin Pint on the teams biggest improvements in the offseason:
I think the sophomores have improved the most, A couple of them needed to learn about how to prepare for themselves on a day in and day out basis because college golf is a year long deal. A lot of these guys have maybe only played a semester. For college golf you have to prepare for a year long deal and it starts in August and ends in May so it can be A mental strain. So I think having their minds ready for what is to come because we really focus on being mentally ready.