Walker scorches Florida course for Central men’s golf squad

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JUPITER, FLA.—With one of the lowest scores in school history, Central College senior Nick Walker (Naperville, Ill., Neuqua Valley HS) scorched the par-72 Jupiter Country Club with a 4-under par 68 and tied for second place at the inaugural Atlantic Invitational men’s golf tournament Tuesday.

It’s the best score by a Dutch golfer since 2001 when Tim White carded a 67 in the Iowa Conference tournament at Waterloo. Jeff Woods set the school mark with 65 in 1988.

Central completed the fall season by placing third in the four-team tournament. Babson University (Mass.) and Allegheny College (Pa.), both among those schools receiving votes in the GCAA Coaches’ Top 25 poll, took the top two spots. Babson won with a sizzling 299-289—588 with Allegheny at 301-302—603. Central shot 313-308—621 and Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) finished fourth with 317-313—630.

Nicholas Gianelos of Babson took medalist honors with 68-72—140 while Walker shot 75-68—143, tying Chris Bornhorst of Babson who had 74-69—143.

“Obviously that was really a great round for Nick,” coach Mel Blasi said. “He had four birdies and 14 pars, so he had a clean scorecard. It’s the result of a lot of hard work by him over the summer.

“He’s been very consistent all fall but he’s been telling me he should be doing better. Today he was better.”

Aiden Vollmar (freshman, Anthem, Ariz., Boulder Creek HS) tied for 14th at 78-78—156, while Colin Chromy (freshman, Naperville, Ill., Neuqua Valley HS) was 21st at 84-81—165 with Dillon Peters (senior, Urbandale, West Des Moines Valley HS) 24th at 88-81—169 and Kobe Rhodes (senior, Glenwood) 25th at 76-94—170.

“In general, our freshmen played well,” Blasi said. “Colin (Chromy) has been battling all fall and Aiden (Vollmar) is showing some signs.”

Central also got a breakout performance from another rookie, Ethan Loafman (freshman, Rogers, Ark.) who tied for seventh at 75-77—152 but was playing as an at-large entrant so didn’t contribute to Central’s team score.

“We could have used him today,” Blasi said. “But he’s another freshman who played well, which bodes well for the future.”

Other at-large competitors were Wyatt Crosby (junior, Ottumwa), who was 23rd at 82-86—168 and Lucas Wendel (freshman, Le Claire, Pleasant Valley HS) who placed 26th at 86-85–171.

While it was a small field, it was a highly competitive one, Blasi said.

“It was good for us to compete against these schools,” he said. “Now we’ve got to get our swings in over the winter and get ready for the spring.”

Central opens the spring campaign in March with a spring break tournament in Texas.