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The Scarlet & Black

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Feven Getachew
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Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm
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Men’s Golf lineup uncertain while team looks strong

By Hayes Gardner

In an NCAA Division III golf tournament, five players per team compete over two days, with the top four players scoring. However, the 2012 Grinnell College men’s golf team is much more than just four or five players.

In years past, the golf team often did consist of a key group of five guys.

“We pretty much had a starting five, and that wasn’t going to change,” Head Coach Brian Jaworski said.

This year is very different.

“We are deeper and more talented than what we have been [in years past] from the number three spot to the number eleven spot,” Jaworski said.

Traditionally, teams have a semi-rigid top five, without much shuffling of lineups, but Grinnell has a variety of players who could earn a varsity spot this year.  Seniors Jared Dye, Jimmy Borrasso, Ethan Kenvarg, and Logan Granera; and second-years Chris Marsho, Jon Cohen, and Travis Palmer will be among those competing for the five varsity spots at regular season tournaments and for the six varsity spots at the conference tournament.

The lack of a consistent varsity team could be seen as a weakness, but it also has great advantages, which Dye recognizes.

“When you have that many guys vying for spots on varsity for the next week, it pushes everyone to work harder,” he said.

“What’s happening now is that there’s a lot more competition,” Jaworski said. “And with competition comes opportunity.”

Practices, which are held every afternoon at the Grinnell Golf and Country Club, often consist of competitions between the players. Competing against one another in practice rounds and for varsity spots is something that Jaworski sees as an edge.

“They’re playing with pressure more often and I hope that the competitive spirit of our practices then translate into execution under pressure,” he said.

“It’s making us all better,” Dye said.

The Pioneers do have a consistent top two. Co-captains Peter Marsho ‘12 and Ian Luby ‘13 play the number one and two spots, respectively.

Jaworski praised Luby’s recent improvement.

“[Luby]’s worked awfully hard in the last year and a half to get his game to where it is right now,” Jaworski said. “His best golf lies ahead.”

However, the team’s number one is Marsho, who finished 4th out of a 69-player field this past weekend at the Prairie Fire Classic at Weaver Ridge in Peoria, Illinois.

“He’s our best golfer by far,” Jon Cohen ’14 said.

“We have one phenomenal player in Peter Marsho,” Jaworski said. “He’s a true number one golfer at the Division III level. He can play with anyone in the country.”

Dye stressed the value in having a player like Marsho on the team, not only for his leadership, but also for the challenge competing against him provides.

“People, every day, want a shot a Pete Marsho [in practice],” he said.

Jaworski hopes that this competition will help prepare the team for the Midwest Conference tournament, though the Pioneers practice on a much worse home course than their opponents.

“We’re at a severe disadvantage with our home course,” he said.

“The facilities here are awful,” Cohen said.

Because the Pioneers don’t feel that their home course prepares them very well for the conference tournament, which is played on a difficult course, Jaworski schedules tournaments at challenging courses.

“We play the toughest golf courses around,” he said.

Despite the lack of elite facilities and the fact that the Pioneers haven’t won the Midwest Conference since 1973, the team is still eyeing the possibility of a MWC title.

“The goal is always to win conference,” Cohen said. “But we’re not the favorite, by any stretch.”

Coach Jaworski’s main goal for the conference tournament is to come out strong, unlike in years past.

“We’ve been a slow starter in the conference tournament the last three years and it’s tough to play from that far behind,” he said.

Dye noted another motivation for this season: playing well for Marsho.

“When you have a player like [Marsho], who’s been the top player for this team for so long … we want to give him the best senior season he can have,” Dye said.

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