Sports

5-Year Golf Careers Come to a Close for 3 Mason Seniors

The conclusion of the Region B Tournament at Bryce Resort on Monday brought an official end to the 2009 George Mason golf season, as well as the illustrious careers of the team’s three top golfers. GOLF

The conclusion of the Region B Tournament at Bryce Resort on Monday brought an official end to the 2009 George Mason golf season, as well as the illustrious careers of the team’s three top golfers.

GOLF

MASON’S GOLFING SENIORS, Mandes, Duning and Wolfe. (Photo: News-Press)

Seniors Evans Mandes, Michael Duning and Michael Wolfe played their final 18 holes as Mason golfers at the regional tournament, shooting 85, 86 and 88, respectively. The three seniors were the only Mustangs to qualify for the tournament, and each narrowly missed qualifying for the Virginia state championships.

“I was frustrated, but I didn’t let it ruin my day,” said Mandes on missing the cut for the state championships. “I had fun, and I’d been on the cusp of going to states before so it was nothing new.”

Mandes, Duning and Wolfe were no strangers to the regional tournament, making their third appearance each in the last three years.

However, it was their first time competing as individuals, rather than as a team. Mason shot a combined 382 at the District Tournament on Sept. 29, placing third behind Clarke and Madison County who won the title by one stroke, posting a 381 as a group.

The third place finish eliminated the Mustangs from competing in the Region B Tournament as a team, but the trio of seniors managed to make the cut individually.

While the tournament did not turn out the way they hoped, the careers of Mandes, Wolfe and

Duning were decorated.

Mandes, a two-time All-District golfer (2007 and 2008) has been in the team’s top 6 since his freshman season when the team’s three year undefeated streak began.

Wolfe and Duning have both earned All-District honors each of the past two seasons in addition to being regular contributors on the team since their sophomore seasons.

“Not only are Michael [Duning], Michael [Wolfe], and Evans [Mandes] great golfers but they are also standup young men,” said Mason head coach Chris Carrico. “All three have played a major role in turning the Mason golf program into what it is today.”

The three of them have been together in the golf program since they were in 8th grade, and they said they have grown closer to each other in addition to becoming better golfers.

“Wolfe and Duning are basically my brothers after these five years,” noted Mandes. “We’ve had a lot of great times on the course, and that’s something I’ll never get again.”

Overall, 2009 was an up-and-down season for the Mason golf program. They lost a match for the first time in three years, and finished with a 5-4 regular season record.

After graduating five seniors in 2008, including two former All-District golfers, it was no surprise that there would be growing pains this season.

Despite the struggles on the links, the senior golfers made sure to keep the team’s spirits up by staying positive and calm.

“I think that my teammates will remember me for keeping the golf team relaxed,” said Duning.

“The golf team is different than other sports teams; I tried to maintain a laid-back environment where we all have a good time, but still focus on winning. There is no such thing as a good stressed-out golfer.”

The roster takes an enormous hit this year, as another stacked senior class departs, but Duning hopes that the relaxed atmosphere that he instituted will live on.

Next season, the team will have six returning underclassmen and just one senior in Sebastian Askin, who served as the team’s number six in 2009.

“Hopefully everyone steps up and practices in the off-season, and starts up a new [winning] streak next year,” Wolfe added.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*