April 18, 2016
Disliking your opponent is common in sports, you’re constantly battling them for the same goal and if they’re good, you hate them even more. So it’s hard to imagine having to play two to three days with your opponents, on the same course, on the same hole.
The UCCS men’s golf team has done just that, and been successful, in their four spring tournaments. With two first-place finishes, a second place finish and a sixth place finish, sophomore Colin Prater is confident in the team’s play right now.
“We’re number one in the region and we feel confident going into the RMAC tournament, it would catapult us into regionals. Plus we’ve already played the regional course in the fall, which really helps,” Prater said.
The Mountain Lions ended the fall season as the regular season champions, but in the spring the RMAC tournament is held and will begin April 18 in Arizona.
Before each regular season tournament, the team played each other to see who the top five would be going into that week’s tournament. Prater explained that the top five has been the same since the St. Edward’s Invitational in March.
The top five, in no particular order, is seniors Kyle Southard and Zach Tripp, sophomores Colin Prater and Chris Reina and junior Zach Berhost.
Southard said that since adding Reina to the top five, the team has taken off.
“Right now, we’re the five that are playing really well and we’re playing well together. We always have three solid scorers and when we get that fourth score, it’s a game changer. It’ll be huge for us in qualifying for nationals,” said Southard.
Prater added that the RMAC tournament will be different this year. They’re holding a match play tournament instead of basing the winner on overall strokes. Prater explained that in match play, each player will go out in their assigned pairings and play 18 holes like normal.
But they will only be playing against the player they’re paired with from another team. Team points are allocated based on the individual match play results.
“We have a really competitive group of guys. It adds to the game and creates a competitive pressure. We don’t want to lose,” said Prater.
Both he and Southard expressed that while the atmosphere is competitive, the players get along on the course.
“It helps relax the atmosphere when you’re able to talk to the guys who are with you,” said Southard.
The Mountain Lions travel to Arizona for the RMAC tournament April 18-19 followed by regionals in New Mexico May 2-4.