Courier sports staff
---- — WICHITA, Kan. — A lot has changed about the Indian Hills golf team since the last time it was on the course.
Mostly on Monday, a lot of the names that were competing for Mike Hagen’s squad had changed from the final round of the spring season to the opening round of the fall.
Several new golfers took to the links to represent the Warriors in the opening round of the Newman University Martin Park Fall Invitational. As they teed it up at Reflection Ridge, Hagen had no idea how his new-look Warriors would fare by the end of the fall season’s opening day.
Led by one of the few familiar faces on the team, Indian Hills would do just fine. Returning sophomore Colin Pearson fired a bogey-free four-under par round of 68 to take a two-shot lead on the individual leaderboard while guiding IHCC to a team round of 290 and a three-shot lead over Oklahoma Christian going into today’s final round.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into this,” Hagen said. “We’ve got seven new faces going out there. Colin’s the only guy with any experience returning for us. He handled the opening day really well and played a really nice round of golf.”
Besides Pearson’s top opening round, IHCC got top-10 individual rounds from freshman Harrison Moore with a one-over par 73 to tie for sixth place after his first day of intercollegiate golf. Sophomore Luke Monson, who played in one of his first competitive team rounds for the Warriors, also finished tied for 10th after the opening round Monday with a two-over par 74.
“We have a lot of new faces. We had a couple of guys that are out with injuries, so we’re a little thin this early in the year,” Hagen said. “For guys without any experience at this level playing Division II NCAA programs and have a three-shot lead after the first round, we feel really good with the position we’re in.”
The new-look Warrior golf squad will now be looking to close out its first overnight lead today and win its first fall tournament. Hagen is excited to see how Indian Hills steps up to meet such an early challenge.
“It’s a great place for our guys to be. The guys gained a lot of confidence shooting the scores they did,” Hagen said. It’ll be a good experience trying to close out the tournament and close out the win with the kind of competition that will be chasing us.”
Newman University Martin Park Fall Invitational
At Reflection Ridge Course
Team scoring — 1. Indian Hills 290, 2. Oklahoma Christian 293, 3. Newman University 299, 4. Cameron University 302, 5. Arkansas-Fort Smith 306, 6. Texas A&M-Commerce 309, 7. Oklahoma Panhandle State 330.
Leader — Colin Pearson 34-34-68.
Second place — James Bolton .(Newman) 34-36-70 and Dylan McClure 37-33-70
IHCC individuals — 1. Pearson 34-34-68, T6. Harrison Moore 36-37-73, T10. Luke Monson 38-36-74, T14. Jakob Garstecki 36-39-75, T17. Greg Stanek 37-39-76, T26. Jose Smith 41-37-78.