Trojans grab second consecutive victory

golf

Eric Andrews | Echo

The No. 20 Taylor men’s golf team claimed its second consecutive victory at the TPC Deere Run Invitational in Illinois last weekend.

Sophomore Alec Dutkowski earned the Crossroads League Golfer of the Week recognition for the second week in a row after leading the Trojans with a 138, including tying the program  record of five shots under par on Saturday, shooting a tournament-best score of 66. Dutkowski finished the tournament in second place, just two shots back of the champion.

“Being named the Crossroads Player of the Week for the second time is a great honor,” Dutkowski said. “I feel like I am in control of my game right now. I am very confident over my shots right now and I am trying to build off of that to get better every day I go out.”

The honor comes on the heels of Dutkowski’s first collegiate tournament victory.

Head coach Cam Andry has consistently praised Dutkowski’s work ethic and is happy to see his work paying off.

“Alec certainly earned his Crossroads League honor this week with his performance at TPC Deere Run,” Andry said. “His final round was really impressive and his eagle on the par-5 17th (hole) was what championship-caliber players do; when the lights are on it brings out their best. In reality, though, the success Alec is enjoying right now can be directly attributed to the work he’s put in for a long time.”

Dutkowski was not the only Trojan that played well, however. Strong performances on Saturday from the rest of the team fueled Taylor’s comeback. The Trojans trailed No. 8 Northwestern Ohio by four strokes entering Saturday before turning in arguably the team’s best outing of the entire season, shooting a team score of 278, 10 strokes better than Northwestern Ohio’s 288.

In addition to Dutkowski’s 66, Taylor carded scores of 70 from junior Nick Waskom, 71 from both junior Mitch Lamping and senior Ian Rinken and 72 from junior Trey Turner. The round gave the Trojans a team total of 567, 12 shots better than Taylor’s previous 36-hole program record score of 579.

“The victory at TPC Deere Run was one of the most enjoyable tournaments I’ve been part of as a coach,” Andry said. “The guys played well from the start, executed well for both rounds and came up with huge birdies when we needed them down the stretch. Any time you can beat two top-10 teams, it’s a great tournament, but to have that performance on the course where the national championship will be played in about six weeks is really a great shot in the arm for us as a team.”

The Trojans have another significant challenge ahead of them when they play a stacked lineup in the Wildcat Cup Monday and Tuesday in Indianapolis. The tournament field features seven teams within or receiving votes in the NAIA Top-25 poll. Tee time on Monday is set for 9 a.m.

“Photograph provided by Cam Andry”