OTTUMWA, Iowa – Sophomore Michael O’Connor led after one round and ultimately finished third to lead the Hutchinson Community College men’s golf team to a fourth-place finish at the Indian Hills/Community 1st Union Bank Invitational.
As a team, the Blue Dragons struggled during the first two round of the 54-hole tournament hosted by the defending NJCAA national champions, Indian Hills Community College. HCC was fifth in the seven-team field after 18 holes and tied for fourth after 36 holes. HCC put together their best round on Tuesday, shooting a 302 to finish fourth with a 927 team total. The Blue Dragons were 53 strokes off the pace of team champion Indian Hills.
O’Connor was the story after the first round on Monday. He fired a 4-under par 68 to lead the individual race, leading the field by three strokes. The afternoon round on Monday wasn’t as kind to O’Connor, who shot a 5-over 77 to fall into a second-place tie at 1-over 145.
O’Connor finished the tournament with a 1-over 73 on Tuesday to finish third overall at 2-over 218, five strokes behind Iowa Western’s Jimmy Jaskoske, who shot 67 on Tuesday to win at 3-under 213. O’Connor was the highest finishing Jayhawk Conference golfer in the tournament.
Sophomore Ben Cotton finished 18th overall with a 54-hole total of 232. On Monday, Cotton posted rounds of 77 and 81 before closing with a 2-over 74 on Tuesday.
Freshmen Jordan Hecker and Trevor Pauls both tied for 24th with 239s. Hecker had rounds of 84, 80 and 75, while Pauls started at 77 on Monday and closed with rounds of 80 and 84.
Sophomore Mason Varner finished 28th at 242 with rounds of 82, 76 and 84. Sophomore Trey Hayden was 35th at 249, shooting rounds of 84, 85 and 86.
The Blue Dragons will compete at Jayhawk No. 2, the second of three fall conference-designated tournaments on Monday with 36 holes at Auburn Hills in Wichita beginning with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.
(HCC Sports Information)