Storm blown away at the Simpson Invitational


by Jake Brend, Sports Editor

With wind gusts upwards of 40 mph, Simpson’s women’s golf team finished fifth out of 10 teams while the men’s team finished ninth out of 10 teams at the Simpson Invitational on Wednesday, Sept. 30. 

The highest finisher for the Storm was Megan Crockett, who shot a 95 and finished tied for 17th. Crocket was followed by Sydney Stephensen with a 97, Averi Peck and Emily Jansen both with 100s and Hannah Mulligan with a 132. 

Simpson ended up with a total score of 432, four strokes behind North Iowa Area CC and five strokes ahead of North Central Missouri CC. The Storm also finished ahead of the two American Rivers Conference teams that competed, Nebraska Wesleyan and Loras. 

“The highlight of the day was the women beat two conference schools,” said head coach Larry Shoop. “We are going to use that as motivation to keep working and get us prepared for the conference tournament.”

Senior Konner Johnson led the way for the men with an 83, which was good for a 32nd place finish. Nathan Eaton and Isaac Roe both shot an 85, Luke Becker posted a 90 while Lucas Hemphill shot a 94 to round out the top five. 

The men finished with a score of 343, which was six strokes behind Central College’s white team. The only team that the Storm finished ahead of was Southwestern CC, who wasn’t able to finish the round. 

“We practice on that course, so the expectation was higher than where we placed,” Shoop said. “There were people who have never played here and they placed scores where we should have been.”

A tough day of wind, that was consistently at 23 mph all day long contributed to the struggle for the storm.

“It is very rare you have a day where the wind will make all aspects of the game tough— Wednesday was that day,” Johnson said. “The worst part was trying to putt on greens that weren’t guarded by trees. I found myself having to step away from a lot of putts as my ball was moving quite a bit before hitting it.”

However, everyone was playing under the same conditions, but some teams were more built for the wind. Ultimately, lower line drive shots were altered by the wind less, athletes who could hit it low walked away with better performances. 

“It’s just difficult to plan for,” Shoop said. “With that being said, there were still some good scores there.”

The men had four individual exhibition rounds, Brendan Bayeur walked away with an 87, which is his collegiate personal best. Derek Maxfield shot a 91, Robbie Ferneding placed a 104 and Brett Jansen finished with a 109.

“We all know on an individual and team level what we need to work on,” Johnson said. “A lot of our guys have potential, as a group we need to Zone in on some areas of our games. Our team will get out there and practice, it’ll come together eventually.”

Both teams travel to Ames on Oct. 5 to compete in the DMACC Invitational.