The Furman men’s golf team went into last weekend’s Schenkel Invitational with a chip on their shoulder. “This spring, we’ve played well, but haven’t quite reached our potential yet,” described freshman Mac Scott. “We knew coming in we could compete with anybody, and this event was a great chance for us to prove that.”
Scott is right that Schenkel provided quite a challenge. The event was held at Georgia’s challenging Forest Heights Country Club, a par-72 venue in Statesboro. It was also one of the most difficult fields Furman will go up against all season, with ten of the event’s thirteen teams being ranked higher than the Paladins, according to Golfstat.
Ultimately, however, the team finished 3rd in the tournament with a three-round score of 870 (+6), finishing just four shots behind home team and second place finisher Georgia Southern University. Scott noted that the team is “happy with [their] finish” and that “this week was more indicative of our potential as a team, despite there always being things we can improve to be better.”
The Paladins were led by strong individual performances from freshman Scott (T4), sophomore Ross Funderburke (T13), and senior Keller Harper (T21). Scott’s performance, which included a first-round 66 and a share of the lead, was especially impressive, given that it was his first collegiate tournament. Speaking with The Paladin, Scott offered some perspective on his experience: “I went in knowing I was playing well but had to temper my expectations a bit being a freshman and it being my first event of the season. That said, I think this week definitely showed a glimpse of what I’m capable of out there.”
Scott went on to laud the team’s upperclassmen for their leadership: “Keller Harper and Jack Crosby have been great influences on me this year. I’ve learned a lot about things on and off the course from them that I didn’t know in high school. I always thought I practiced hard but seeing the hours they put in is very inspiring and a great example to have.” This speaks to the team’s tight-knit nature, which multiple team members have emphasized in past interviews with The Paladin. According to Scott, the team’s camaraderie and collective spirit is unique to Furman compared to other programs.
This atmosphere of support and friendship will be key as the team looks to continue their run of solid play into next weekend’s Furman Intercollegiate, their home tournament. “We feel good about the progress of our season so far and definitely view next week as a great opportunity to get a win,” Scott said. The event will take place at Furman University Golf Club between Mar. 26-28.