Senior men’s golfer Mason Banger tied for sixth out of the 96 players in the men’s golf tournament at Newberry College Invitational in South Carolina, Feb. 19 and 20.
Banger finished with a score of one-over 217 making the tournament his fifth top 10 finish within the past six tournaments; this was also his 10th consecutive game in which he earned a of par or better.
Banger said he beat approximately 20 of the top-ranked players in Division II golf, which he said shows he can compete with the best. Dustin Howell, men and women’s golf coach said Banger defeated two players who were ranked in the top 10.
“I’m looking to get a few more wins,” Banger said. “So far, I’m playing well and it’s exciting to see my hard work pay off.”
Sophomore Cooper Dunn said the Newberry College Invitational is one of the hardest golf courses in the country.
Overall, the Bisons placed 15 of 19 teams, ending the tournament with a total score of 924. Banger was the only player from the team to make the top 60 tournament players.
“As a team we struggled, but the guys never gave up,” Banger said. “We are always wanting to get better, and this result won’t hold us back.”
Dunn said the team had a successful fall season and pushed the team to work harder in the spring season.
“Positivity and momentum play a much bigger role in golf than people think, and that has been a driving force for us this year,” Dunn said. “We want to be optimistic about the next shot, day and tournament so we can maintain our momentum throughout the spring.”
Howell said the team was looking for consistent play over all three rounds in the tournament.
“Though we came short, we still are off to the best start in over 10 years,” Howell said. “We are looking forward to contending for a conference championship.”
Dunn and Banger said Harding should look forward to seeing the golf team make even greater strides in their postseason, as they hope to do even better than last year.
The Newberry College Invitational is the first of five regular season spring tournaments for the men’s golf team. The next tournament will be at the Dave Falconer Classic, hosted by Arkansas Tech at the Chamberlyne Country Club in Danville, Arkansas, on March 12 and 13.