The South Dakota Mines men's and women's golf programs will open the season Monday at The Mile High Shootout (men's tournament) and the Swam Memorial Invite (women's tournament) hosted by Colorado Christian University. The tournament will take place at Todd Creek Golf Club in Thornton, Colorado.
Hardrocker Director of Golf Luke Wheeler said the players are ready to go.
"The men and women are excited to get back on the course competing again," he said
The Hardrockers have not been on the course for a tournament since early March when they played two tournaments in Las Vegas, Nevada. After those two tournaments the season was shut down due to COVID-19.
Back for the 2020-21 campaign for the men's team are seniors Garret Hohn, Jamie Smith and Nathan Martian. Hohn, Smith, and Martian were all granted another year of eligibility after last spring's shutdown.
Sophomores on the squad are Jake Francis, Bryce Howard, Lane Jensen, Alex Lesselyoung, Roger Nakagawa and Carson McDaniel. New to the program are Adam Salter, Joseph Vincent, Walker Scott, Supawich (Beam) Boonta and Nicholas Ruhrer.
"We have a lot of freshmen on the team this year," said Wheeler. "They have fit right in with the returners and are competing hard this fall to earn spots on the travel roster. For our first tournament, four freshmen qualified to travel. It will be exciting to see what they can do in a collegiate atmosphere and see how well they play as a team with the returners."
Following the CCU tournament, the Hardrockers will travel to Dickinson, North Dakota, to compete in the DSU Invite at Bully Pulpit Golf Course. Then they will finish up the fall at the Farmers Insurance Sam Proal Invitational at Walking Stick Golf Course hosted by Colorado State Pueblo the first weekend of October.
The Hardrocker women are returning five golfers from last year's team. They are senior Larissa Pawlowski, juniors Abby Magee and Mya Ostrum, sophomore Lexa Rauert and freshman Jessalyn Shipp. New to the team are freshmen Rianna Garland, Annika Schooler, Ava Jenkins and Mya Maxwell.
"The women are hungry to show the conference that they are not to be taken lightly," said Wheeler. "We've got a good mix of golfers that have come together in the short amount of time they've been teammates. I'm looking for a great fall season from everyone."
The Mines women have four tournaments this fall. They will start out at the CCU Invite this Monday and Tuesday. After that they will travel to the DSU Invite at Bully Pulpit Golf Course. Then the last weekend of September, South Dakota Mines is co-sponsoring an event with Black Hills State at the Spearfish Country Club in Spearfish. The last tournament of the fall will be in Pueblo on Oct 12-13 at the Famers Insurance Sam Proal Invite at the Pueblo Country Club.
"I'm excited to finally see what we can do this fall," said Wheeler. "I think we are going to surprise some people this year."
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