GOLF: ‘Nova travels to N.C. for Lonnie D. Small Spring Classic

Alex Gallucci

On March 5-6, the golf team traveled to Buies Creek, N.C., to compete in the Lonnie D. Small Spring Classic. Campbell University hosted the 16-team tournament at the par 72 Keith Hills Country Club. After the first day of competition, senior Steve Arnold led the Wildcats with a respectable 76, which left him in 22nd place. Following Arnold were sophomore Andrew Alexander and senior Brock Bergman, who each shot rounds of 79. An 82 from sophomore Brett Bergman and an 87 from senior Doug Stadler helped Villanova to finish in 13th place for the first day with a score of 316.

On the second day of competition, Arnold stepped up his game, as he fired an even par round of 72. Arnold’s four-stroke improvement from the first day was enough to boost him from 22th to 11th place, making him the only member of the team to finish in the top half of the field. Brothers Brock and Brett Bergman finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, for Villanova, as they shot rounds of 78 and 76 to place them at 44th and 51st in the competitive 83-man field.

Among the three men from Villanova who competed as individuals, sophomore Paul Sjoberg and freshman Mike Gross each finished with scores of 161, which were good for a tie of 64th place.

With substantial score improvements from Arnold and the Bergman brothers in the second day of competition, the Wildcats improved a total of nine strokes, which helped them to move up to 12th place. This was one of the team’s better performances, after enduring a string of frustrating tournaments at the end of its fall ’06 season. So far in the spring season, the team is off to a much stronger start. With strong leadership from seniors Arnold, Brock Bergman, and Stadler, combined with plenty of young talent and a strong team-oriented attitude, the team should only see continued improvement and success in its coming season.

As Brock Bergman explained, “Although winning a tournament individually would be fantastic, I want to help the team as much as possible each and every tournament we enter. Winning any tournament as a team is 100 times more important to me than winning anything individually, and I can honestly say we have seven other guys on the team who feel exactly the same way.”

The Wildcats look to keep up their solid play as they travel back down south to play in Williamsburg, Va., on March 26-27 at the William & Mary Invitational.