Badgers set high goals for conference meet

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoWhile most people are just beginning their golf season, the Wisconsin men’s golf team is winding down its campaign, starting this weekend with the Big Ten Championship.The spring season has been a bit of a rocky endeavor, and the Big Ten Conference continues to be strong, but UW head coach Jim Schuman said at a press conference Monday that he is refusing to allow his team to be satisfied with anything but the best.”I’d be satisfied with a win, quite frankly,” Schuman said. “I mean, I don’t think anything bad happens when you shoot for that. I think you sell yourself a little bit short if you talk about trying to finish in the top half, although there’s nothing wrong with that.”While the second-year head coach is optimistic, even finishing in the top half of the standings will be a challenge. The Badgers have their work cut out for them, and they have been able to see that after taking on conference foes in tournaments over the past few weeks.At last week’s Fossum Invitational, Indiana took home the team title by finishing 6-over for the three-round tournament. Minnesota finished second, while Illinois tied for third and Northwestern tied for fifth.In fact, Michigan State and Ohio State both finished ahead of Wisconsin, which finished in ninth place, edging out just one other Big Ten school, Iowa, which finished tied for 10th, one stroke behind the Badgers.”It’s about winning — you don’t win too often in this sport,” Schuman said. “It’s going to take just a great effort by everybody. We’re not the kind of team where one guy is going to carry us along or two guys are just going to carry us along to a championship or a good finish in the Big Ten. It has to be all five guys.”While it would take an entire team effort for a great finish this weekend at Conway Farms Country Club in Lake Forest, Ill., the road to success begins with Garrett Jones. The junior is coming off the best outing of the spring by a Badger — finishing fourth at the Fossum Invitational — and has been UW’s leader the past two years.”I think this spring has been a tough one for him, honestly. I think probably he hasn’t made a lot of putts, and sometimes you can get down a little bit,” Schuman said. “But it was nice to see him shoot 68 on Sunday. He’s just one of those guys where the bigger the event gets, he’s able to step up and do those things.”Wisconsin also knows what it is going to get from Jeff Kaiser day in and day out. Though a tough first round last weekend put him in a hole early, he battled back and will go into this weekend with some momentum after a final-round 72.”Jeff Kaiser finished with 72 last week and also comes off with some great momentum for us,” Schuman said. “We forget he’s just a sophomore and he’s played every tournament since the day he arrived here.”From there on down, the picture gets a bit blurrier.Freshmen Pat Duffy and Tyler Obermueller have consistently remained in the lineup, and have shown great potential, but little consistency. They will both need to put together solid weekends if the Badgers hope to challenge for the Big Ten title.Nick Engen and Adam Steinhofer have battled for the fifth and final spot, and whoever makes the trip to Conway Farms will be depended upon to have a great weekend.”If we’re going to do something or contend for any kind of Big Ten championship, [the three lower spots in the lineup is] where we’re going to have to get our scores from,” Schuman said. “Going back and assuming that our one and two players play well, and that’s the way it’s been for us.”last_img read more