The burgeoning GCU club golf program did not stop improving its stature when it wrapped up its spring season with a national runner-up finish.
Lopes club golf coach John Wasson’s program continues to show its strength this summer, building on the team missing a National Collegiate Club Golf Association national championship by two strokes in April. Individually, the Lopes players continue to thrive at summer amateur tournaments.
Cole Anderson, who will be a GCU junior, finished one stroke off the lead of a June 12 qualifier in Denver to earn a spot at the 117th Colorado Golf Association Match Play Championship. Anderson, a Colorado Springs, Colo., native, competed against the state’s top amateurs of all ages to earn the spot and advance at the June 19-23 tournament.
In the CGA Match Play Championship, Anderson was one of the 64 players to advance out of the opening day’s stroke play round at The Club at Ravenna in Littleton, Colo. In the first round of match play, Anderson ousted No. 4 seed and University of Denver player Isaac Petersilie. Anderson was trailing the match by one before he birdied the final two holes to win. Anderson lost in the following round in a match that was decided on the 18th hole.
“It was really good to get very competitive experience against some of the best golfers in the country,” Anderson said. “It was fun to play that course. It’s up against the Rocky Mountains with elevated tees. It was unbelievable.”
Anderson will play in two more amateur events in Colorado before returning for his junior year at GCU. Anderson was a lacrosse player as a Lopes freshman before switching to club golf last year. He is on track to graduate in three years with a major in finance and economics with a minor in entrepreneurship.
“We’re all really good golfers and it’s fun to compete with each other every day,” Anderson said of GCU club golf. “It’s pretty competitive and we had a blast everywhere we went. Our entire lives aren’t into it. I was able to find a job and do pretty well in school.”
Teammate Kody Fiser, who will be a GCU sophomore, also fared well in returning to his roots this summer. Fiser, a Yuma native and Cibola High School graduate, took fourth place at this month’s Yuma City Championship.
Fiser played two-over golf over four rounds, which were played over three of Arizona’s hottest June days. Fiser earned his way into the championship flight with his play in the first two rounds and was two shots off the lead entering the final round at Desert Hills Golf Course.
“It’s the only one they put on for us in Yuma so all the good golfers are there,” said Fiser, who finished sixth in the all-ages city championship last year. “It’s good competition for me. I love playing it every year.”
Fiser is a GCU business management major with an emphasis in golf course management.
“I loved it,” Fiser said of his first season with Lopes club golf. “I met a lot of new people and got to travel. It’s a great club for people to keep playing.”
GCU senior Zach Capel led the Lopes to its national runner-up finish by taking fifth place individually at the NCCGA National Championship. He continued to play at a high level this summer, when he qualified for the 156-player field at the 102nd Southwestern Amateur in Scottsdale. The event is the longest running regional amateur tournament in the West.