Vanessa Kuffner, Staff Writer
Tyler Fitchett, a freshman from Yakima, Wash., started out playing baseball and basketball, but in his freshman year of high school, he found his passion for golf. Fitchett discovered a love for the sport after he and his friend joined their high school team for fun. Now, Fitchett is helping to lead the Saints men’s golf team. Fitchett started off his season with a bang; during his first tournament with the Saints, he closed with two-over par 73, landing him the final spot on the All-Tournament team. He continued to lead the Saints, ending the SMU invite with the second highest score of the tournament. In a recent tournament, Fitchett landed a team low of 71 to help the Saints place eighth at the Concordia Invitational. Fitchett has great potential to help lead the Saints to regionals next season, an achievable goal he has set for himself.
Andrew Raab, a senior captain, is also from Yakima, Wash. As a senior this year, Raab says he is going to miss the friendships he has made through the team and all the team trips. He does not plan on competing after college but will continue to play. As a captain, Raab says he learned leadership, how to keep his team together and keep them prepared for tournaments.
Raab adds about the team, “We have a young team this year, but they have a lot of potential to go far in the years to come.” In a recent tournament Raab led the Saints in all three rounds (74-69-77-220), tying for 11th overall. Raab had nine birdies through the 54 holes, tied for seventh among all golfers and had the second-best score on par -4 holes at two-over par. Raab hopes to end the season by winning a tournament as a team and making it to regionals.
The SMU men’s golf team was propelled forward this season by strong performances all around. Despite facing tough opponents at Western Washington University (Bellingham, Wash.) and Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, B.C.), with the two-time MVP Cris Crisologo, and having one of the smaller squads in the league, the Saints stringed together some solid rounds. The Saints are currently ranked 12th among the teams in Western Regionals. One highlight from the Saints’ season was the team effort to score a three under par, 285 stroke second-round at Western Washington University. The men hold two wins over Concordia University, Northwest Nazarene University, and Montana State Billings University, only conceding two losses.
Coach Kevin Bishop acknowledged the team having such great success because they are “close knit and coachable,” and is sure they will only get better with the work they are putting in. Bishop admitted that the loss of three key seniors from last year was acute, but is happy that he has verbal commitments from freshman to play for the Saints next season.