The coronavirus pandemic has affected every sport in some compacity since it made its way to the United States last month. The NCAA shut down all sports in the spring and the winter, and the fall is in question right now.
One sport that didn’t get much attention was the UCA men’s and women’s golf teams. Their seasons were also cut short due to COVID-19.
The men’s golf team was on its way to playing for a conference title before the NCAA canceled their season.
“I felt like we were doing good as a team,” sophomore Josh Turnock said. “We had a good result at the Nicholls tournament where we came 2nd as a team and [it] was our best team finish since I’ve been at UCA. Myself and Blaine both had good finishes in that tournament, both coming tied 2nd individually. It’s just a shame we won’t have the opportunity to play our conference tournament, as I think the team felt confident with the last few tournaments that we could put up some good finishes.”
The finish at Nicholls was the team’s best finish of the season.
When sports around them started getting canceled, it was only a matter of time before golf would be canceled as well.
There are no seniors on the men’s golf team, so it was a group effort to overcome the emotion of having the season end so abruptly.
“We were all disappointed at the fact we couldn’t play any more tournament golf as well as the fact that we’d all be going home, as we are all a close group of friends,” Turnock said. “We all were seeing all other sporting events being canceled so we’re expecting all of our tournaments to be canceled. It was just a matter of time until they did, so we were expecting it and all helped each other.”
Some of the players from the golf team are not from the United States, so when UCA said that they were shutting down the campus, these players had to figure out a way to get back home.
Because of COVID-19, traveling has become a hassle, but some members of the golf team found luck when it came to returning to their homes.
Turnock is from Manchester, England. He said that even though the travel was fast-paced, he was able to get home without much problem. His home is under lockdown right now, so he is finding ways to stay prepared for next season as best he can.
“I’ve got a net set up in my garden so I can carry on hitting balls and practice chipping,” Turnock said.
The women’s golf team also had their season canceled with three tournaments left before the Southland Conference tournament and they were putting up decent numbers as a team.
Their best finish of the season came in San Diego when they finished 3rd in the Lamkin Invitational on Feb. 10-11.
Both teams had the opportunity to play for a conference title and though the season was canceled, they will have to focus on next season for another chance at a title.