McDaniel Golf Preview
As winter sports wrap up and the weather starts to warm up outside, spring sports are about to start again here at McDaniel. One sport that looks to do really well is the McDaniel College golf teams.
Unlike most sports at the College, golf is played in both the fall and the spring, presenting some unique challenges to the players and coaches.
“The first challenge of playing both seasons is that the weather can play a major role in the spring season. For example this year we will start indoors next week (3/21) and our season will conclude by April 16-17. That is quite a short season and we all know snow and cold could hit anytime in March,” Women’s Head Coach Michael Diehl said.
Senior Paul Kovalcheck talked about how the team has been staying focused over the winter months. “Actually, our captain, KJ Mazurek, brought back a putting green from his house. So me and the guys have been spending a lot of time on that. Recently we began hitting balls in the gym into nets to help find our swings. Plus we try to stay conditioned, so running and workouts is done during the offseason.”
Aside from the challenge of playing in both fall and spring, the golfers seem to be looking forward to the season, and with good reason. Both teams are coming off a successful fall season that they hope to sustain in the spring.
Led by reigning Centennial Conference individual champion Paul Kovalcheck, the men’s golf team won the Guy W. Cuhn and Peter C. Rossin Memorial Invitational tournaments in the fall, and finished in the top six in two other tournaments. Men’s Golf Coach Scott Moyer says that Kovalcheck’s play is the key for the team’s success this season. “It kind of seems that if he plays well, everybody plays well,” Moyer said. “We were fortunate to win two top three tournaments in Pittsburgh.”
Coach Moyer also said that a strength for the team is the rigorous schedule they play.
“We play in several Division I and Division II tournaments, as well as Division III tournaments, and we play everywhere from New York to South Carolina.”
Not to be outdone, however, were the Terror women golfers. The reigning Centennial Conference team champions struggled to a 16th place finish at the season opening Bucknell Invitational, but followed that up with top four finishes in the last four events, including a victory at the Dickinson Fall Invitational. Coach Diehl believes that this experience is critical in the team’s success. “Our team has experience in major tournaments and has succeeded the last two years at the Conference Championship. That experience of playing in and winning big tournaments is the key to our success. If we stay focused on one shot at a time and not get caught up in the end result, we will be fine,” Coach Diehl said.
With recent successes by both the men’s and women’s teams, excitement appears to be in the air for the spring. “As a senior this is my last chance to win a conference championship, and ultimately that defines how good you are. I was lucky to win as a freshman and play in the nationals. This year’s team is better than the one four years ago. I believe we will win again, and contend in the national championship,” Kovalcheck said.
The excitement is following the players as they prepare to open the season in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where both the men’s and the women’s teams will compete in the Myrtle Beach Shootout at Barefoot Golf Resort. Hopefully, this will be the first stop on a successful season for both teams.