Maverick golfers have strong showings in first invitational of the season

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Jack Hoover
SPORTS EDITOR

Mandi Granato, a standout for UNO golf, at the IWCC invitational. Photo courtesy of OMavs.com

Both Omaha men’s and women’s golf teed off this week as they heralded the return of Maverick sports.

The longest offseason in Omaha history was finally ended at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 28. In Des Moines, and in Council Bluffs, golf officially became the first sport of the year on the Maverick athletics calendar.

The Maverick teams showed little rust after the long offseason as they showed competiveness in their return to play. While no Maverick team took first place in their invitationals, both delivered strong performances.

At the Zach Johnson Invitational at Drake, the Mavericks put one of their strongest showings that they’ve had at the invitational. UNO finished fifth overall, which is tied for their best ever showing in Des Moines. However, due to COVID-19, the number of teams were limited this year from twelve to six.

The Mavericks did need a little time to get going in the tournament, as their first two rounds left a little to be desired. Overall in Rounds 1 and 2, UNO shot 316 and 311. However, by the third and final round, Omaha men’s golf got in to the swing of things and shot 307, for an overall team score of 934. The score put them right behind Iowa Western men’s golf, who had a score of 931.

The best golfer for the Mavericks at the invitational was Mathew Halvorson. Playing in his first competition, the transfer from South Mountain CC finished 12th with a score of 229.

UNO women’s golf also displayed a strong outing in their first bit action this season. Playing at the Iowa Western Invitational for the first time, the Mavericks came second overall, just losing out to Morningside College by four points.

Like men’s golf, the women’s team also struggled in the early outings as they put up a score of 324 in the first round. The second round was a vast improvement for Omaha though as they bettered their score by 16 strokes to finish with 308.

Two Mavericks finished near the top of the individual leaderboard, as sophomore Mandi Granato and senior Hannah Hunke tied for sixth overall with both getting scores of 157. Granato shot the lowest of all Mavericks during the invitational, as she had 74 in the second round.

After coming back from Iowa, both golf teams will now prepare to defend their home turf this week as they will participate in the Maverick Invitational on Oct. 12 and 13.

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