After two days of competing at the Valpo Fall Invitational, the Bradley men’s golf team returned sixth place on a 17-team course.
Thanks to late championship tournaments, the Braves have continued their rise in 2022 after battling for the better part of the past three years.
Senior Josh Kirkham hit 212 with less than four goals, which was good enough for a fourth place in the championship. Improving his number eight from the previous week, Kirkham had a historic start to the season, and coach Jeff Roach surely saw the reason for this championship.
“He played hard from start to finish,” said Roach.
Roy Radke was one of the seniors who showed up in a big way. After scoring a season best of 72 in the last round, the Geneva, Illinois native finished just one stroke out of the top-20 in 22nd place.
“[Radke] “He played really well in the last two rounds,” Roach said. “Especially the last round; [he] Even equal fire. ”
A solid effort from Radke helped him move up the singles standings, as his last run resulted in a jump of 11 places on the leaderboard. Alumni transfer Luke Armprost also climbed 11 places on the final day after third-round 75.
The only new player on the team, Conor Hamm, finished 32nd after the 77th final. He started the tournament well, scoring 75 seconds in the first two rounds.
It took some effort to get home in sixth, as the first round wasn’t in the Braves’ favor. After the first 18 holes, the Braves finished 10th with a score of 302, 14 over par. Speaking of the team’s performance in the opening round, Roach knows his team didn’t perform the way any of them wanted it to.
“I don’t think anyone was very happy with the way we played,” said Roach. “To be able to respond shows some character.”
It was a unique experience for the team, as last Monday’s second round was suspended due to darkness. They couldn’t finish and had to make a few holes the next day.
The team then had a 40-minute layoff, which also led to some uncertainty from Roche. However, the team quickly reassured their coach that they would be fine as they jumped to fourth in the Invitational at one point.
“We didn’t panic; “We just played Bradley golf,” Roach said. “They fought after that with good stretches of holes. It shows their personality.”
Knowing a few more shots would have put them higher in Valparaíso, Roche knows his team can build on this in the upcoming tournament.
A number of bad holes; “A lot of it is manageable stuff,” Roche said. “It will be the little things in the future that ultimately decide whether we finish sixth, fourth or second.”
Finally, Roche outlined some keys to the team’s success for the rest of the way.
Staying true to ourselves [and] They don’t do more than they need to,” Roach said.
The team hits the ties again next week at the Derek Dolenc Invitational in southern Illinois Edwardsville on September 26-27.