By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
Over the weekend, the Grand Canyon University Club Golf team managed to keep their impressive season rolling with another key victory at Arizona National Golf Club in Tucson. The Lopes “A” team nailed down the program’s third straight National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) Desert Region title, finishing a whopping 29 strokes ahead of second-place Arizona State University. For safe measure, the Lopes “B” team placed third, coming in just three strokes behind ASU.
With another impressive first-place finish under their belts, the Lopes took another step toward successfully defending the NCCGA National Championship title that they claimed last spring, which their head coach sees as extra motivation for his team instead of complacency in victory.
“It’s just in their nature to be competitive,” said Lopes Head Coach John Wasson. “Any time you win something like nationals, and you realize how great it was, you obviously want to get back to that. However, there’s also the idea of being back-to-back champions, which you can see is a real motivator for the team to keep competing.”
While the Lopes’ dedication to their goal of becoming successful defending champs can easily be seen based on their performances on the golf course, their behavior off the course has proved just as important. In fact, according to Wasson, it’s one of his team’s greatest improvements.
“I really have noticed that their comradery as a team has grown so much from last year, and not just on the course as teammates, but off the course as well,” said Wasson. “You can see that they have all grown together since last year, and it really has helped them to maintain their success so far.”
Improved chemistry and a strong track record of recent success are helping put the Lopes in position to successfully defend their national championship title next month, but Wasson knows that his team has to keep improving if they are to make their title defense a reality.
“While it’s hard to say exactly how tough the teams at nationals will be since we don’t play all of them head-to-head, our experiences over the last few years have given us a good idea as to how high the level of competition usually is, and we are expecting some very tough resistance this time around,” said Wasson. “We want to be as prepared as we can for nationals next month by cleaning some things up. If we can really work on our short game as a whole, we will be in great shape to take home another victory.”
The Lopes get their first chance to defend their national title during the NCCGA Nationals, which take place November 16-18 at the Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Make sure to stay tuned to the GCU Club Golf home page for updates on their success.
Interested in joining GCU Club Golf? Contact the coach to learn more!