DADE CITY, Fla. - The Miami University golf team split its two matches on the opening day of the Mid-American Match Play Championship Monday. The RedHawks tied Eastern Michigan, 3-3, in the opening round, but lost via the tiebreaker. They then swept Ohio, 6-0, in the consolation round in the afternoon.
"I think we played pretty well against Eastern Michigan this morning," said head golf coach Zac Zedrick. "It was a highly competitive, extremely hard-fought match and I thought we performed well as a team. However, the line between winning and losing is razor-thin and we simply came up short."
Redshirt junior Mark MacDonald and senior Ben Peacock each won their matches in the morning against EMU. MacDonald took a 3 and 1 decision over Brian Churchill-Smith, while Peacock earned a 2 and 1 victory over Brian Burt. Sophomore Scott Cahill and junior Austin Kelly finished their 18 hole matches at All Square with Josh Heinze and Casey Olsen respectively, each earning a half point for the RedHawks. Senior Brett Tomfohrde fell to Spencer Slade 4 and 2, while Jack Sparling dropped a 2 and 1 decision to Stuart Grehan. Since the match finished in a 3-3 tie, a tiebreaker needed to be employed to determine who advanced. Because the Eagles won their two matches by a total of six holes, compared to Miami winning its two matches by a total of five holes, they were declared the victor.
Taking on the Bobcats in the afternoon, the RedHawks made sure no tiebreaker would be needed as they swept all six matches. Sparling had the biggest win, taking a 4 and 3 decision over Thomas Leech. MacDonald completed a strong day with a 4 and 2 win over Byron Firestone. Kelly and Cahill each won their matches by a 3 and 2 score, with Kelly defeating Connor Coldwater and Cahill beating Brad Burgess. Tomfohrde defeated Michael Lamping 2UP, while Peacock made it a perfect day individually with a 1UP victory over Mike Engelman.
"To go out in the afternoon and win 6-0 against our rival really says something about the mentality of the boys," said Zedrick. "It's easy to have a little bit of a letdown when you lose such a close match and then have to immediately turn around to compete again, but we kept our heads up and performed at a very high level in the afternoon. Tomorrow's another opportunity and I believe we can take advantage of it."
Miami will complete play at the Mid-American Match Play Championship when it takes on Toledo in the fifth place game Tuesday morning.