Point men’s golf struggles at Innisbrook Invitational

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Point men’s golf team finished eleventh at the Innisbrook Invitational in Innisbrook, Florida on Monday after a difficult first round.

The tournament was one of the toughest of the year for the Skyhawks, and it was shortened to a 26 hole event due to the threat of Hurricane Ian.

Innisbrook is located near Tampa, where Ian is expected to make landfall.

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This was a disappointing result for the Skyhawks after coming off of two tournament wins to begin the season.

Point head coach Maddux Lytle was disappointed with his team’s performance in the first round.

“I think it was just a bad round,” Lytle said.

“We didn’t get off to a good start at all. We weren’t getting the ball in the hole.  We only had three birdies through most of the first round.”

Point pretty much played all day due to  the second round being moved to Monday. Lytle wanted to give his guys positive reinforcement before the second round.

“A lot of them did a lot of things well,” Lytle said.

“It was just a lot of shots weren’t falling. We started off the second round a lot smoother. I just told them to play to their strengths. I’m just trying to feed them positivity.”

Lytle thinks the course was also just tough.

“This is one of the premiere events for the NAIA,” Lytle said.

“A lot of the teams here are ranked.”

Point’s number one golfer Trevor Poole finished the first round with a score of 1-over, which was better than his first round last week. Point’s star freshman Jacob Joseph won the Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Week award, and he had the best finish for Point.

“Joseph had a good start as well,” Lytle said.

“He started the second round pretty rough, but his head is in a good space.”

The second round wasn’t much better for the Skyhawks as they finished with a team score of 305. They scored 301 in the first round. They’re total score of 606 was behind first place Keiser, who scored 576.

“I think we just ran out of energy,” Lytle said.

“Obviously, we have a lot to work on. We have to get back home and get back to the drawing board. A lot of it is inexperience. A lot of it is just putting to much pressure on themselves. We’ve got to tune up some things.”

The weather was a factor in the second round as the winds from Ian started swirling.

“We can’t play as bad as we did today,” Lytle said. “If we had today, I think it would be completely different. They all know what they’re doing wrong, so it gives us time to go over it tomorrow. It was a bad day for everybody.”

The morning was calm, but the afternoon affected their second round.

“It got pretty windy,” Lytle said. “It was really good scoring conditions in the morning. We just had a really bad start and never recovered. We played ok until the very end. The winds got up, and we couldn’t stay in the groove. One guy would make a birdie, and two guys would make a bogey. I’m not blaming every0ne, we just have to return home and fix our mistakes before the next one.”

Point will have a week and a half before their next tournament, and Lytle is going to hold qualifying, which could change up their A-team.

“We’re going to do the qualifying quick so we have more time to prepare the team,” Lytle said. “We’ll try to tighten up those loose screws before we head to Kahite.”

Luckily for the Skyhawks, they won’t have to play in pre-hurricane conditions every tournament. Point will play their next tournament on Oct. 8 at The Links at Kahite in Vonroe, Tennessee.