(Cleveland)- The Truett-McConnell Athletic Department is celebrating a huge win courtesy of the Men’s Golf team. The Bears had a huge day Tuesday on the links, as they pulled away from the competition en route to earning a huge win in the AAC Spring Conference Tournament. The Bears secured the win against some of the best teams in the nation, as the field consisted of three nationally ranked teams. Tennessee Wesleyan and Union College both entered play tied for 21st in the national NAIA rankings, while Milligan University entered competition ranked 30th among the nation’s elite. Despite the national recognition these teams garnered prior to play, the Bears refused to be intimidated as they took control of the tournament from the early going.
The team shot an opening round of 297 to hold a 5 stroke lead on Reinhardt University and a 7 stroke lead on Tennessee Wesleyan after the conclusion of opening day play. On day 2 the men held on to shoot a 298 team score, despite playing the final round without one of their top players and senior captain, Josh Foster. Foster had an unfortunate injury that caused him to miss the final round, putting extra pressure on the Bears’ remaining four golfers to ensure the tournament win. As a result of the injury to Foster, the rest of the Bears’ squad knew there was no room for error as they played out the remainder of the round.
In addition to winning the tournament, the Bears also secured back-to-back tournament victories for the first time in the history of the Truett-McConnell Golf program. Adding to the huge day for the Bears was senior Deven Broadaway from Adairsville, Georgia. Broadaway once again proved that he was up for the challenge when it comes to delivering incredible tournament performances, as he outpaced the field by 8 strokes en route to the overall individualist medal.
Scoring for Round 1 was as follows:
Deven Broadaway- 68
Taylor Crouse- 74
Jordan Krippner- 77
Josh Foster- 78
Sam Love- 82
Scoring for Round 2 was as follows:
Deven Broadaway- 69
Sam Love- 71
Taylor Crouse- 76
Jordan Krippner- 82
Josh Foster- DNF
Head Coach Steve Patton credited the team’s work ethic, as well as key updates to the practice facilities at Truett-McConnell, for helping spark the team’s recent success. “I am incredibly proud of our young men for the way they have worked this entire year,” said Head Coach Steve Patton as he celebrated with his team after the victory. “When we finished our fall season, we were very motivated to get to work and try to make up for the 8 strokes we lost to par on the final 4 holes of the fall conference tournament after a lengthy rain delay. We realized that part of that was due to our conditioning. We ran, worked out, and focused on getting our bodies in shape, and I really believe that helped our team get through the off season and came back stronger after the Christmas break. In addition to that, the Lord blessed us with an incredible indoor facility and golf simulator that allowed us to work on our swings and short game during the early months of inclement weather. Our goal in this spring season was to come out during the spring AAC tournament and to be peaking for this event and hope to carry that over to the AAC Conference Championship in less than 2 weeks.”
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the tournament victory was the way in which the team rallied around the injury sustained during day 2 of play to senior Josh Foster. “When Josh went down today, the team rallied around him and was praying for him and wanted to get this victory for him,” said Patton. “They were also praying for the strength and courage of the 4 other players to finish the round without fear, even though they were playing at a significant disadvantage from the rest of the field who had 5 players in comparison to the 4 we had playing towards the scoring. I want to give all of the honor and praise and glory to God because He gave us the strength to get through the day. It is a privilege to coach this fine group of men, and a privilege to serve a such an awesome God.”