Westmont’s golf program makes strides at the Vanguard Invitational

Annika Bahnsen, Staff Writer

With the sports world taking a major hit due to COVID-19, many athletic teams were forced to make significant alterations to their schedules to have any semblance of a season. Considering the many challenges that the virus has presented, some sports, including golf, are allowed to compete. Due to this, the golf team seems to have special attention, especially here at Westmont. 

A relatively new program at Westmont with only one season in the books, the golf program has successfully put its name on the map. Even though they are a young program, the golf teams have already proved themselves. This encouragement and success has a lot to do with the recruitment of John Snyder, Mason Mancasola, and Jared Tran to the Warrior men’s squad. On the women’s side, Kat Bevil has been very impactful on the course. 

With an eagerness to get back out there, both golf teams travelled to San Clemente, California, where they competed in the Vanguard Invitational on Sept. 21 and 22.

We played very well despite not having practiced as a team prior to the event.”

— COACH THOMAS KNECHT

The Warriors took the challenge on with a fighting spirit, having no prior practices or preparatory scrimmages due to COVID-19 restrictions. Individually, Bevil took the lead for the lady Warriors. Finishing tied for fifth with +5 strokes, she made a memorable impression during the tournament. Showing her skill, Bevil demonstrated how the Warriors can really make a positive impact on the golf course. 

For the men, who finished eighth with an overall average in the low 70s, Mancasola proved himself on the course. As a freshman, this team performance is a very impressive tournament result. Additionally, Tran, another freshman recruit, made an amazing start to his golf career by finishing in 21st place overall. As a team, the women finished in 5th place out of 5. The men finished 4th out of 7, out-performing Hope International University by 10 strokes on the final day of play. 

This tournament is currently the only one scheduled for the fall semester. Even though this plan is subject to change, the next golf tournament is not until spring semester. This decision is due to the COVID-19 restrictions that are still in place. 

Coach Thomas Knecht told us his thoughts on COVID-19’s effect on the season. He said, “With COVID, we’ll have to be flexible. Already, we’re making adjustments in how we do things. Teams that can best make these adjustments will do better on the course.”

Even with all the changes and unexpected twists, Coach Knecht expressed his content with the start of the season. 

“Our first tournament — the Vanguard Invitational — went well and it was fun to be out. We played very well despite not having practiced as a team prior to the event. I think we have really good teams this year.” 

The next scheduled tournament is the Sea Beggars Invitational in February.