NewsMVNU Golf Team Wraps up Another Successful Year
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - For the second straight season, the Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s golf team topped the 100-win mark as the Cougars finished the 2003-2004 campaign with a 100-29 record.
MVNU began the year by posting a 22-9 record during the team’s fall season as the Cougars won the Tri-State (Ind.) University Invitational and finished second at the Indiana Wesleyan University Invitational. With their play in the fall, the team earned its highest ranking ever in the NAIA national poll as MVNU was listed 15th when the preseason poll was released.
When the spring season finally rolled around, the Cougars broke off the winter rust with a week of practice rounds in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as part of their annual spring trip.
Then, it was time to get down to business as the spring season began with the rainy two-day Malone College Invitational, where MVNU finished eighth out of 13 teams.
The Cougars rebounded nicely from the slow start, though, as MVNU won the nine-team Shawnee State University Invitational. Senior Nathanael Petry earned medalist honors as he shot an even-par 72.
Next up for the Cougars was the Southeastern Kentucky Intercollegiate Invitational, and MVNU finished fourth at the 18-team event. Petry and senior Brian Bumgarner were both named to the All-Tournament Team for their play.
The team registered back-to-back runner-up finishes at the 12-team University of Indianapolis Invitational and at the nine-team Urbana University Invitational. Senior Brandon Kenney led the way at the Indianapolis event, while Petry earned his second medalist honor of the season at Urbana.
The Cougars mounted one of the biggest comebacks in school history in their next tournament as MVNU rallied from a 14-stroke deficit after the first round to win the Walsh University Invitational by five strokes. Once again, Petry was in the medalist hunt as he finished as the individual runner-up.
The Cougars made it two straight tournament titles as MVNU won its own McKnight Group Cougar Classic by 11 strokes over Walsh. Petry was the individual runner-up for the second consecutive tournament, and he was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Bumgarner.
The team finished third in its final two regular-season events - the seven-team Cedarville University Invitational and the 10-team Otterbein College Invitational.
At the American Mideast Conference/NAIA Region IX Tournament, the Cougars closed out the year by finishing fifth out of 13 teams. Petry led MVNU by finishing one stroke of the lead as he was named to the AMC Team for the third straight year.
"We had another great season this year,” said MVNU head coach Mike Meeks. "We didn’t reach our ultimate goal which was obviously a return trip to (NAIA) nationals, but I told the guys that we had nothing to hang our heads about. We had our second straight 100-win season, and we finished 30th out of 180 teams in the nation. We won four tournaments this year and finished second in three others.”
Petry, who was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player and Cougar Award recipient, finishes his career by posting three individual wins and finishing as the individual runner-up six times.
Bumgarner, who holds the distinction of being the only MVNU golfer to play in three straight NAIA National Tournaments, wrapped up his career with four individual titles and four runner-up finishes.
Senior Scott Snyder, who was selected as the team’s top player in the fall, ended his career with one individual title and two runner-up finishes, while Kenney also closed out a solid four-year career.
Junior Raynard Martin rounded out the top five for the Cougars and will be the only player with much varsity experience when the 2004-2005 season rolls around. Senior Bryce Arndt and freshmen Derek Clark, Jeremy Schlabach, and Dan Yost also saw action as members of the MVNU "B” team.
"With four senior starters graduating, it is a truly a changing of the guard for the team,” said Meeks. "Raynard will be the only returning starter, but with the freshmen who are here and the talented incoming class it should not take long to get back on top.”