Lopes look to improve mental game going into 2022
“We felt very confident in ourselves the entire weekend,” said Lopes’ Head Coach John Wasson. “We were able to compete head-to-head with other top teams in the nation.”
The Grand Canyon University Club Golf team hadn’t competed in the National Collegiate Club Golf Association National Championship in almost two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, after claiming the NCCGA Desert Region title, the Lopes were back on the national championship stage, finishing No. 5 overall at the NCCGA Fall Nationals at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Although the ultimate goal eluded them, finishing 11 strokes behind the champions, the University of Cincinnati, the Lopes showed why they’re still a top performing club golf program in the country.
“Only two players on our team had nationals experience,” said Wasson. “Considering how well they played and how close we came to winning, this experience will carry over into future events.”
The top 30 club golf programs in the nation were invited to compete for championship honors. The Lopes were ranked 28th coming into nationals, making their top-5 finish even more impressive.
NCCGA Fall National Championships Final Results:
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On the individual side, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Adam Garski took home the title with a score of 142 (-2). Maximillian Escobedo led the way for the Lopes, shooting 74 in Round 1 and 78 in Round 2 to finish 8 over par, and tying him for 24th out of 240 total golfers.
“It felt amazing being able to compete at nationals this year – especially on these great courses,” said Escobedo. “Personally, my iron shots off the tee are what helped me the most in this tournament.”
The Lopes will have to wait until 2022 for a chance at their second national title since 2018. Until then, they will continue to work to improve their mentality through intrasquad tournaments and regional events.
“Golf is an extremely mental game,” said Wasson. “Some of the guys were getting down on themselves because they weren’t performing up to their standards. If we become stronger mentally, we will have no problem getting back on top in 2022.”
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