Courtesy of UCR Athletics

The Highlanders men’s golf team took part in the Nick Watney Intercollegiate which took place at Fresno State University from Oct. 1-2.

Riverside finished the tournament in last place, but Head Coach Rick Todd didn’t see his team’s performance as a disappointment. “Tournament went good. I saw some good things and I saw some mediocre things, but overall the team’s coming together,” Todd explained.  “Just the start of a making of a team. So everything is going good.”

The Highlanders started off slowly, shooting a 307 in the first round of play which was the highest score in a round by any team in attendance. After this disappointing start, Riverside improved in the following two rounds and finished with scores of 298 and 291, respectively.

Todd explained that once a team goes down the feeling of chasing the opposition can make it difficult to spark a comeback. The third-year head coach also attributed their last place finish as a byproduct of the team still getting to know each other. “When you bring in new guys the first little while is, you got to make a team,” Todd said.  “It’s like anything. Any business or any professional team. You see these professional teams with all these superstars and they lose their first three games. Why? Because they’re not a team.”

The Highlanders did have a couple of bright spots in the tournament as junior Tyler Moore scored a top-ten finish and freshman Edward Yi finished top-two on the team for the second straight tournament.  Todd believes Moore still has much more potential, saying, “He has no idea how good he can be,” before adding, “I think he’ll win a tournament this year.” Todd was also complimentary of Yi saying, “His golf course IQ is off the charts. He hit some mediocre shots that turned into bad breaks that cost him a few shots, but once he figures it out he’s going to be one of my best players and it won’t be that long either.”

Riverside won’t be back on the course until Oct. 15 when they participate in the Bill Cullum Invitational in Simi Valley, Calif., giving them plenty of time to reflect and learn from their first two tournaments. Todd says his primary message to his team will be to “just keep working hard. That’s all you can do. The more you practice, the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

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