’Lopes lead on the links

FLC men’s golf finishes 11th behind host and champ GCU

The Skyhawks couldn’t get anywhere close to the ’Lopes on the links.

Tournament host Grand Canyon won the GCU Thunderbird Invitational by more than 20 points, shooting a 2-over 866 at the Wigwam Golf Resort’s par-72 Gold Course on Sunday and Monday in Phoenix.

The Fort Lewis College men’s golf team finished 11th out of 16 teams with a 926, led by junior Bryan Schlichter’s 225 (73-77-75). His 9-over-par was good for 17th overall.

“We just kind of had a rough time,” FLC head coach Bud Andersen said. “I think still a little rusty, and that kind of showed.”

FLC senior Charlie Laudermilk finished 46th with a 232, sophomore Zach Bryant took 53rd (235), redshirt freshman Dillon Washburn was 56th (236), and junior Clark Riedberger rounded out the Skyhawks’ field in 77th (250).

“Putting. We gave a lot of shots away putting. The whole team, especially Charlie,” said Anderson, adding that Laudermilk played better than his scores showed. He had one bad hole each round and couldn’t make up for it on the green, Andersen said.

Jimmy Kozikowski was the medalist for Grand Canyon, winning by eight strokes. He finished with a 7-under-par (209).

UC-San Diego took second place with an 888, Central Oklahoma third with 889, Dixie State fourth with 890, and Western New Mexico was fifth with 900.

The Skyhawks will take a week off before hosting the Dr. Troy Bledsoe Skyhawk Classic Club Shootout at the Classic Club on April 8-9 in Palm Desert, Calif.

“It’s crunch time now, and they know it, so they’ve got to get their butts in gear here the next couple of weeks,” Andersen said.