Men's golf begins HCAC Championship play this weekend

2018 HCAC Men's Golf Championship preview graphic

RICHMOND, Ind. – Earlham men's golf will be striving to improve upon last season's seventh-place finish when it heads to Franklin, Ind., this weekend for the first two rounds of the 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Golf Championship.

The Quakers enter the 2018 championship with a four-player average of 317.12 – a vast improvement over the 335.31 average with which Earlham began the 2017 championship, and even considerably better than any of the four rounds the Quakers shot during the 2017 HCAC event.

Head Coach Matt Gehring hopes that the season-long improvement shown by his second-year program translates to a better showing in the nine-team field that will hit the course at The Fort Golf Resort on Saturday morning.

"Seeing the improvement of this team throughout this season has been encouraging moving towards the biggest two weekends of the year," said Gehring. "The five men that we have representing the program this weekend have earned their spots with how they have played all season, and they are looking to surprise some people this year."

"Another encouraging factor to all of this is that they are all only freshmen and sophomores, and you typically don't see a young team have this type of success so early in their collegiate experience.  As a coach, you really can't ask for much more than what these young men have given the program during the 2017-2018 season," said Gehring.

A capsule look at the 2018 HCAC Men's Golf Championship:

The Tournament: Franklin College will host the first and second rounds on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, at The Fort Golf Resort. For rounds three and four, play will shift to Eagle Rock Golf Club on Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6, and Defiance College will serve as the host.

The Courses: The Fort Golf Resort in Indianapolis, Ind., will play as a par 72 at 6,791 yards. Course setup for Eagle Rock Golf Course in Defiance, Ohio, is to be determined.

Teams: Nine of the 10 HCAC teams will compete in the championship; Bluffton University does not sponsor men's golf.

Coverage: Live stats will be available for the championship; links can be found on www.GoEarlham.com.

Players: Earlham's lineup for the tournament will be Graham Sherard, Garrett Schuler, Brevin Smith, Patrick Wright, and Nate Mynett.

Tournament History: Earlham finished seventh out of nine teams at the inaugural HCAC Championship in 2017, which was held at Miami Whitewater Golf Club (rounds one and two) and Hulman Links Golf Club (rounds three and four).

The Quakers shot 1294 over four rounds (avg. 323.5), while Transylvania (1197) finished as tournament champions. Graham Sherard was the top Earlham individual in 20th place with a 316 (+30), and his first round 76 was the Quakers' low round for the tournament.

Tournament Coverage: Live stats for Rds. 1 & 2 on GolfStat

For more information about Earlham men's golf, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).