Mercer men’s golf team finished eighth out of the 15-team field at the end of their first home tournament of the year during the first week of October. The Brickyard Collegiate, taking place Oct. 7-9, featured some of the nation’s top golf programs such as Georgia Tech, Florida State, and The University of Georgia.
Mercer teed off early Friday morning with expectations to perform well on their home course. The Bears were led by Hans Reimers and Josh Cone who both shot one over par (73) for the day. The score was enough to place both Mercer golfers among the top 25 individuals within the field. Mercer’s third individual spot was held down by a solid performance by junior Alex Street, who shot a 76 during the opening round, enough to finish 47th individually and beating out half of the competition. James Beale finished one stroke behind Street, and Mercer’s opening round was rounded out by Thomas Holmes, who shot an opening score of 83. Mercer finished the day in 10th place at 11 over par while leaders Georgia Tech, Florida State, and University of North Florida finished -8, -6, and -4 respectively.
The Bears began Saturday, looking to improve upon Friday’s 10th place finish, and the Bears did exactly that shooting a composite one over par for the day, moving them into fourth place overall and the second lowest team score for the day. Reimers once again led the way for the Bears shooting a 69 overall. Beale had a strong second round for the Bears shooting 71 overall. Thomas Holmes greatly improved on his opening round total by shooting 74 overall. Mercer’s second round was rounded out by Street and Cone who shot a 77 and 75 respectively. Mercer’s strong performance was their best in team history at the Brickyard, and men’s coach Steve Bradley was very proud of the team saying, “I know that [assistant coach Jacob Davidson] and I believe in them. Putting a round together like this helps them believe in themselves.” Mercer was unable to capture the top spot from Georgia Tech, who built upon their opening day lead by shooting an aggregated three-under for the day. After the second round, Georgia Tech remained in first place with a 13-stroke lead over second place UNF and 15 over third place Florida State.
Mercer’s final round was similar to their second round performance with a four-over team performance, but the Bears fell from fourth to eight place overall, a team best in their history of competition at the Brickyard. James Beale and Alex Street finished out strong overall performances for the Bears by leading the team with 74s during the final round. Reimers and Cone both shot a 77, and Mercer’s Thomas Holmes rounded out the final round shooting a 78. When asked about Mercer’s performance, junior Alex Street said, “We had our best brickyard showing ever. We finished tied for eighth which was disappointing considering we were tied for fourth after the second round, but we learned a lot from the final round. Overall everyone had a good tournament and we are making tons of progress as a team.” Georgia Tech maintained their first place finish shooting 17 under par, and winning the tournament by a wide margin of 17 strokes. Florida State regained second place and UNF held onto third place, rounding out the top performances.
With one tournament left in the fall, the men’s golfers look to finish strong and build off their performance at the Brickyard.