By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor
It’s pretty rare for a college golf team to win a tournament by 45 strokes, but that’s exactly what the Hutchinson Community College men’s golf team did Oct 19-20 at the NJCAA National Preview in Lubbock, Texas.
The Blue Dragons won the team title with a 54-hole score of 828. The top four individuals in the tournament were all Blue Dragons, and all seven Hutchinson golfers finished in the top 21.
It was a truly dominant tournament for the Blue Dragons, and one that will go down as one of the best performances in HutchCC golf history. While every member of the team played his part in the commanding win, it was a particular special tournament for freshman Ben Partridge, who finished as the champion, and set the Blue Dragon individual scoring-record for 54 holes, as he carded a 13-under par 203.
“It was good to get off to a good start,” Partridge said. “It was nice coming to a golf course that I was comfortable with.”
Partridge shot a 4-under-par 68 on the final day of the National Preview to erase a two-stroke deficit and capture his first individual championship as a Blue Dragon. Partridge was also happy about beating teammate Charlie Crockett, as the two have a friendly rivalry.
However, Crockett wasn’t far behind Partridge. Crockett finished second with a score of 206, which is a career-low 54-hole total for him.
Crockett was considered one of the best golfers in the country last year, and has made improvements this year.
“I’ve made a few changes in my long game,” Crockett said. “I feel like I’m starting to get my game back.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic may have set many golfers back, you wouldn’t know it based on the Blue Dragons have played this fall. Unfortunately, the fall season has ended shorter than expected. Expected wintry weather wiped out their last tournament, in Amarillo, Texas.
Now that the fall campaign has come to an end, Hutchinson coach Chris Young can now reflect on how the fall went.
“It was an odd season,” Young said.
While Partridge and Crockett have had amazing seasons, Young was impressed with the play of Cameron Rios-Ceballos, whom Young said has gotten mentally stronger during the course of the season and was a nice surprise.
That’s just yet another player on the team who has played up to par, or under par. The Blue Dragon golfers will have a lot to live up to in the spring after their performances in the fall, but with this team, anything can happen, and it comes as no surprise that Young’s confidence is extremely high for the spring season.