Golf goes out swinging

By Marissa Masano / The Jambar

The Youngstown State University men’s and women’s golf teams wrapped up their 2023-2024 seasons at the Horizon League Golf Championships from April 20 to 22 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

The men’s team finished third, which marked the second time over a three-year span the team finished in the top three. Individually, the Penguins had three finishers in the top 10.

The team finished with a three-round team total of 880 and scored 291 in the final round.

Wright State University held on to its lead to win the men’s championships with a three-round team total of 856.

For men’s golf assistant coach Bryan Kordupel, the team’s finish exemplified its growth throughout the season.

“This was by far the most complete performance by our team this year. They set out for a goal to put all the adversity behind them this week and just focus on being present and playing the best golf they could,” Kordupel said.

Fifth-year Cole Christman tied for fifth to lead the Penguins. This marks his second top-five Horizon League Championship finish. Christman finished with a three-round total of 218 with a final-round score of 71.

The veteran climbed 27 spots from his Day One performance to lead his team. For Kordupel, the performance showed Christman has the right attitude.

“Cole showed resiliency and determination the whole year, and his fifth-place finish after his slow start is another prime example of how he never gives up. You can definitely sense that our whole team fed off of Cole’s and Justin [Aktinson’s] great play this week,” Kordupel said.

The next highest finisher was Atkinson. The senior tied for seventh with a three-round total of 219. Following him was sophomore Ryan Sam, who tied for 10th place with a three-round total of 221.

Junior Jake Sylak, whose tournament was highlighted by multiple eagles, placed 14th with a three-round total of 223.

The team finished fifth place on Day One for the men’s side, scoring 295.

Individually, Atkinson led the team, finishing the opening round in fifth with a score of 70.
Next to pace the Penguins was Sylak, who scored 72 in a tie for eighth place. Sylak closed out the Opening Day even to par.

In the second round, the Penguins moved up two spots into third place. The team’s second round score was 294, and the two-round total was 589.

Atkinson remained in the top 10 on the second day. The senior tied for sixth with a two-round total of 146 and a second-round total of 76.

Christman scored the best individually on the second day. Christman scored a two-under-par 70 to move up the individual leaderboard 20 spots into a tie for 12th.

The women’s team finished second for the seventh time in program history, with a three-round team total of 954. Two Penguins placed in the top 10 individually.

YSU golfer Chaela Bernett putts a home invitational. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

Oakland University won the women’s championships with a three-round team total of 930.

Freshman Neeranuch Prajunpanich led the women with her second-place finish. In her Horizon League Championship debut, she had a three-round total of 231. In her final round, the freshman carded a 79.

Junior Lizzie Saur placed eighth to best her previous Horizon League Championship finish of 34th. Saur tallied a three-round total of 237 and closed out her efforts with an even-par 36.

Placing 14th overall with a three-round total 242, senior Titita Loudtragulngam had a personal best finish.

The women closed Opening Day in second place with a score of 318. Prajunpanich led the team individually. In her Horizon League Championships debut, she tied for third place with a score of 76.

After Opening Day, Saur tied for ninth place on the individual leaderboard with a score of 79.

On Day Two, the Penguins had a two-round total of 630, and individually, all of the Penguins reached the top 20.