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Eagles Close Royal Lakes With Stellar Round

the eagles pose at royal lakes club

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Bridgewater College men's golf team makes an effort every season to play a few tournaments with national-level competition. On their previous two trips to Royal Lakes Golf Club to face elite teams, they have finished 18th and 15th among 18 teams, but this week the Eagles completed one of their best performances in recent years and finished 12th on a leaderboard full of top D-III teams.

Following a solid Monday team score of 299, Bridgewater came up with the sixth-best round in the field on Tuesday, a 2-over par score of 290. "This really was a great team effort," said head coach John Rogers. "And even though we have several lower team scores in the program's past, given the course and the setting, this is probably one of the best rounds in Bridgewater history."

On Tuesday the Eagles were paced by freshman Alex Czerwinski, who celebrated his first appearance in the starting lineup by shooting a final round score of 71 (-1). Starting on the back nine, Czerwinski dropped a 15-foot birdie putt to make the turn at even par. On his second nine Czerwinski dropped a shot at each of the toughest par fours (#2-9) but balanced those when he made eagle on the par 5 3rd hole, and he added another birdie on #5.

"Today was great for me moving forward with my game," said Czerwinski. "I learned a lot from being down here and from the starters on the team of how to handle playing in strong college events." After improving by eight strokes in the second round Czerwinski jumped 28 spots to finish tied for 52nd place among 102 competitors.

Junior Jason Spaar continued his stellar play following a 69 in the first round with a 72 to close out a top-10 finish. Spaar started the 2019-20 season with his first medal and he is emerging as an elite player in the ODAC.

Coming into this event the Eagles had two players ranked among the top scorers in the conference- Spaar and fellow junior Jacob Laughlin, who shot 73 on Tuesday and finished tied for 27th among many of the top Division III players in the country. Making the turn at one-over par, it took Laughlin seven holes to make a par on his second nine, but fortunately that stretched included birdies on #1, 3, and 6.

Rounding out the team score was freshman Jacob Sears whose 74 was a five-shot improvement from his first round. Sears continues to be a pleasent surprise for the Eagles, making an impact for the starting squad after making the team as a walk-on.

Following team trend, senior Ronald Uszenski played a very steady round and cut four strokes from his first round score. In the heart of his round Uszenski made 11 straight pars and came in with a total of 76.

Scoring was strong this year at the Oglethorpe/Royal Lakes Invitational, as fellow ODAC team Hampden-Sydney ran away with the team championship by shooting a cumulative score of -17. Another ODAC team, Guilford, came in second at -10.

The Eagles entered the week 34th in scoring in D-III men's golf, and with their strong showing at Royal Lakes, they are hoping for one of the best team rankings in school history when GolfStat releases the lists this week. "The guys have a lot to be proud of after the showing," said Rogers. "It's early in the season, but these guys are currently averaging something like eight strokes better than the best scoring average in team history. There is starting to be great energy among these players."

The Eagles are back in action next week at the VSGA Championship in Blacksburg, Virginia.