A little rain and rust proved to be no problem for EMU's golf team, as the Royals broke their program record for a team score in their season opener on Monday.
Playing at the rain-shortened Greene Turtle Invitational hosted by Shenandoah University, the Eastern Mennonite men more than handled a change in location after Sunday's events were washed out, as three of the five golfers carded their individual low round.
EMU finished with a four-man team score of 311 (+31), a full five strokes better than the previous low round of 316 (+36), set at the Ted Keller Memorial on Oct. 12, 2015. Both courses are par-70. The program low round on a par-72 course is 318 (+30).
Senior Riley Kingsley (North Newton, Kan./Newton) led the charge, carding a 73 (+3) to break his previous low total by five strokes. A transfer from Hesston College entering his second year at EMU, Kingsley's low of 78 from last season was his only previous score under 82.
Benjamin Shenk (Elkton, Va./Page County) came in with a 76 (+6), edging the best score from his freshman season of 78. Austin Sachs (Dillsburg, Pa./Northern York) was also under 80, shooting a 79 (+9), while Lucas Miller (San Antonio, Tex./Brandeis) carded an 83 (+13) in his first tournament back after missing last spring on his cross cultural study.
Chris Fenn (Glen Allen, Va./Glen Allen) rounded out the team with an 84 (+14), taking four strokes off his previous career best.
Coach Mike Yoder was pleased with how the men started his third year leading the program.
"We ended last season talking about staying focused and becoming more consistent," Yoder explained. "We know we will drop a few strokes now and then but want to stay in the moment and not let mistakes pile up. Today was a step in the right direction in becoming more mentally sound."
EMU finished 13th as a team, just two strokes behind ODAC-rival Roanoke at 309.
The tournament had been scheduled to be played as a two-day event at the Winchester Country Club in Winchester, but wet conditions instead forced the moved to just one round at the Shenandoah Valley Country Club nearby in Front Royal.
The Royals' men return to action next Monday and Tuesday at the Tom Kinder Memorial hosted by Bridgewater College at Lakeview Golf Course in Harrisonburg.