JUCO golf: IHCC opens season at Lindenwood Invite

Mar. 17—ST. CHARLES, Mo. — It took a day to get warmed up.

That might best describe the experience of the first spring season meet for the Indian Hills men's golf team. Brutally cold conditions awaited the Warriors on Monday as they teed it up in 2023 at Missouri Bluffs Golf Course for the first round of the Lindenwood Invitational.

Temperatures improved by over 10 degrees on Tuesday heading into the second round. It was even warmer on the course for Jose Miguel Ramirez, who shot past 37 other players over the final 18 holes posting the round of the tournament with a 65 placing in a tie for third overall with a two-round three-over par total of 145.

"My short game was really the big difference for me," Ramirez said. "The conditions were also a lot different. Everything was feeling good for the final round compared to Monday."

As a team, 10th-ranked Indian Hills finished in third place in their spring season debut. After grinding out a 303 on Monday at Missouri Bluffs, the Warriors battled defending NJCAA national champion Hutchinson through the opening nine holes of Tuesday's final round before sliding back on the back nine allowing Lindenwood to take over second place as the Warriors finished with a 306, totaling a 41-over-par team total of 609.

"It was good to get out and get our first tournament of the spring in the books," Indian Hills head men's golf coach Michael Wetrich said. "It was really cold at times during the tournament, but the guys hung in there and continued to battle. Seeing Jose go out and shoot the low round of the tournament is awesome. It's very encouraging as we continue into the spring."

Ramirez, playing as an individual during the tournament, got things going on the back nine after teeing off his final round with a par on the 17th. Playing the par-5 18th hole, Ramirez got on the green in two shots and rolled in an eagle putt before doing the same on the first hole, instantly moving up from nine-over par after an opening round 80 to five-over for the tournament.

"When you can put up two eagles in a row, that really allowed me to catch fire," Ramirez said. "I just had to keep going to finish with a good score."

Ramirez got his score as low as two-over par with birdies on the fourth, sixth, ninth and 10th holes. After suffering a bogey on the par-3 11th, Ramirez settled for pars on each of the final five holes including a great save on the closing 16th with an approach shot on to the green on a ball that was on the lip of a fairway sand trap.

"I just had a good feeling for the entire day, especially after dealing with cold and windy conditions in the first round," Ramirez said. "It gives me a good feeling for the rest of the season."

Joining Ramirez in the top 10 of the spring-opening tournament for the Warriors was Mitch Revie, who cracked the top 10 simply by grinding out a round without any excessive mistakes. While other golfers dealt with bad breaks and difficult course conditions, Revie was able to counter five bogeys with birdies on the two of the first, 18th and eight holes to bring home a six-over-par two-day total of 148 to place alone in eighth place.

"I was pretty happy with a 72, but there were still a lot of putts out there," Revie said. "The greens are lightning fast compared to what we're used to. I probably had three of four three-putts. Those greens are huge and it was tough to just the distances. My golf is definitely there. We didn't play our best, but there were definitely some things that we didn't factor for."

Taimur Malik, who made the turn in the top five for the Warriors, could not follow up a birdie on the 10th hole that included a beautiful approach shot into the green finishing with four bogeys and a triple bogey on the par-3 12th hole placing in a tie for 20th overall with a two-round 10-over-par total of 152. Edouard Cereto finished 25th with a 12-over-par two-round score of 154, Gaspar Glaudas posted a 13-over-par total of 155 to finish in a tie for 26th, Shinju Aoki posted a 16-over-par two-round total of 158 to tie for 38th place while Jas Sohal placed in a tie for 41st overall with a 17-over-par total of 159.

"We've only played twice outside before this tournament, so to see the offseason work pay off for someone like Jose is pretty impressive to see at the start of the season," Wetrich said. "We got to go toe to toe for 18 holes with Hutchinson. They're the team we're all chasing right now. I'm really encouraged with our guys' games are at and we're going to continue to get better."

Indian Hills will return to the course on at the Butler Spring Invitational. The two-day tournament at the Highland Country Club in Indianapolis begins on Monday, Mar. 27.