By Adam Hunt | firstname.lastname@example.org
Flagler golfer Greg Mergel started the spring season with a bang.
The 22-year-old senior clinched a tie for third place at the Outback Steakhouse Intercollegiate in Panama City, Fla.
“I played some solid golf throughout the weekend,” he said. “I didn’t execute the shots I needed to to win it on the last day. It’s all about learning from the experience.”
Mergel fired a one under par 71 on the first day to race into contention, but a final round 77 cut short his hopes of a trophy.
As a team, the Saints climbed 10 strokes on the last day of the 36-hole tournament at Hombre Golf Club.
Expectations were high for Flagler having won the event the last two years in a row and the team did not disappoint, finishing joint first with Carson-Newman College and Lincoln Memorial University.
“It’s always great to do well in a competitive environment,” said Saints head coach Santiago Cavanagh. “We practice hard all year to play well when it counts. Everybody started with the right attitude and the final scores reflected that.”
Despite the early success, Cavanagh is keen to remind his players that there is still plenty of work to be done before the Peach Belt Conference Championships in April.
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves,” he said. “We have to keep improving our level without tailing off at any point. The southeast region is traditionally very strong so we always have to bring our best.”
Joel Dahlenburg carded an impressive final round 74 to finish with a total of 149 in Panama City.
“As a team we improved as the tournament went on and we finished well,” Dahlenburg said. “To improve we need to focus on our course management so that we play smarter and limit the amount of mistakes we make.”
Sophomore Christopher Waxberg was consistent on both days, shooting a pair of 76s while sophomore Christopher Hughes improved his first round score by 10 strokes to turn in a 154.
Freshman Eddie Huang rounded out the Saints with a 158.
Flagler’s golfers are back in action at the end of February as they take part in the Pirate Invitational hosted by Armstrong Atlantic State University. The event will take place over two days at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga.