HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College men's golf team will look to build off a successful spring when they open the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship with the first two rounds this weekend.
SETTING THE SCENE: The first two of four total rounds will take place this Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27. Transylvania (Ky.) will serve as the host during the opening weekend, with competition set for the Big Blue Course at the University Club of Kentucky.
COMPETITION: Hanover will be joined by the other nine HCAC-affiliated institutions this weekend, headlined by the host-Pioneers who are currently ranked No. 33 in GolfStat's national ranking system. The Panthers, along with Franklin and Earlham are next in the national rankings and sit in three successive spots between 110 and 112. Mount St. Joseph rounds out the top half of the field, currently sitting at No. 129.
HEARTLAND HISTORY: The Blue and Red are coming off a third-place showing in 2018, tallying a four-day score of 1,217, which is the program's second lowest total since the event went to four rounds back in 2007. Hanover's best finish in the current format is second, which came in 2013. The Panthers' last HCAC tournament title came in 1999 with a 36-hole score of 630. Despite the drought in team championships, Hanover has placed inside the top four of the final standings in each of the last nine years.
Now junior, Austin Zapp (Union, Ky.), was an all-HCAC performer last spring after tying for fourth with a score of 291 (77-73-68-73). His third round score of 68 tied the school record, while his 54- and 72-hole totals are now the new program standard.
HANOVER LINEUP: (SEASON/CAREER STATS)
|No.||Name||Year||Scoring Average||Hometown / High School|
|1||Austin Zapp||Junior||76.07||Union, Ky. / Ryle|
|2||Charlie Bullerdick||Sophomore||77.31||New Market, Ind. / Southmont|
|3||Caleb Lung||Freshman||77.56||Nappanee, Ind. / NorthWood|
|4||Luke Van Leeuwen||Freshman||78.22||Kettering, Ohio / Kettering|
|5||Addy Allyn||Junior||80.31||Culver, Ind. / Culver Academy|
LAST TIME OUT: Hanover last competed on April 13 and 14 at the Indiana Small College Championship. The Panthers posted the lowest team score of any Hoosier school in the field and were fifth overall with a score of 604 (305-299). The Blue and Red posted two of their six lowest rounds of the season, relative to par, during a week long stretch that featured five competitive rounds.
Leading HC at the state meet was freshman Luke Van Leeuwen (Kettering, Ohio), who tied for eighth at 147 (73-74). Also placing tied for second at the Big Four Classic, Van Leeuwen has carded a 75 or lower in four of his past five rounds. Junior Addy Allyn (Culver, Ind.) and freshman Caleb Lung (Nappanee, Ind.) placed 16th and 17th, respectively, with scores of 150 (77-73) and 151 (73-78).
THE COURSE: The Big Blue Course at the University Club of Kentucky is an Arthur Hills design and a par-72 course. The rolling terrain features bent grass from tee box to greens and sets a premium on drives and setting up approach shots to give players a better chance at hitting the tough greens.
The Blue and Red are familiar with the course, having played in the Transylvania Fall Invitational in recent seasons. Since the fall of 2016, HC has played eight competitive rounds at Big Blue, posting a team average of 305. Hanover logged rounds of 310, 300 and 311 this past fall for a score of 921. Zapp has played in all eight rounds over the past three tournaments, averaging an 18-hole score of 77.3. Sophomore Charlie Bullerdick (New Market, Ind.) was the most successful Panther this past fall that is competing this weekend, firing a 54-hole total of 228 (77-77-74).
UP NEXT: The third and fourth rounds of the HCAC Championship will take place at Anderson Country Club, in Anderson, Ind., next Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5.
Contact: Tyler Jester