By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
In their final competition of the season, the Grand Canyon University Club Golf team will travel out to Purdue University to try to bring home another first-place finish at the National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) National Championships. Coming off of a second-place finish at the Fall Nationals, as well as three consecutive first-place finishes at the NCCGA Desert Regional Tournaments, the Lopes look well poised to ride their recent momentum into further success over the weekend. They also enter the weekend as the defending champions of this tournament, having won their first-ever national title trophy last April in Georgia.
While the Lopes have become regular competitors on the national stage, Lopes’ Head Coach John Wasson acknowledged that each nationals event offers its own unique set of challenges.
“In our first couple of events we played in Las Vegas and at Arizona State University, we were pretty confident in the courses we were on,” explained Wasson. “Being at Purdue this year though offers a different challenge, since we’ve been dealing with a different climate, and lots of rainy weather, which we aren’t exactly used to in Arizona.”
Despite the obstacles, the Lopes have proven a resilient bunch, no matter the hurdles in their way.
“The overall thought process for the team this weekend is that a national championship is on the line,” said Wasson. “There is undoubtedly an aura of importance, and none of our athletes take that lightly. The course might be difficult and the climate might be new, but we know that everyone is going to have to deal with that, and all we can do is give it our all.”
Fortunately for the Lopes, the ability to drown out external pressures and focus on the task at hand has proven to be one of their strong suits.
“One of the main ways our team has been able to remain focused has been their reliance on practice,” said Wasson. “We have a few guys who have been here before and know what to expect, and through our practices they’ve kind of been able to have that experience rub off on our newer players. They’ve all done a great job being around each other and learning from one another, and that will really help them focus in on the task at hand.”
Make sure to check out the GCU Club Golf schedule, and keep up to date with the Lopes success over the weekend!