The next time Master’s takes to the links for formal competition, it’ll be in a tournament with a different name and winter will be waning toward spring. But the golf course will be the same.
And the Mustangs can only hope to play as well in February, when they return to Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix, as they did Monday and Tuesday, when they put together their best team performance of the year and Sam Eisenhuth won the individual title.
Teammate Josh Delo tied for fourth, helping boost Master’s into second place out of nine teams at the Firestorm Invitational.
Eisenhuth shot a collective 5-under 137 over two rounds. Delo came in even at 142.
The duo has led Master’s all season but hasn’t necessarily played its best golf at the same time.
What does it do for the NAIA No. 18 Mustangs when both their captains are on?
“I think it allows the other guys to play more free,” Delo said. “Because they can have confidence that we’re going to play well and have a good score out there. In golf, playing free leads to better scores.”
Such was the case Tuesday.
Robert Penalber shot a team-best 69 on Day 2 and ended up 20th overall for the Mustangs, who had finished fifth, or tied for fifth, in each of their first three meets this fall.
This week, Eisenhuth shot a first-round 66 to position himself to take the individual title, finishing in the top seven for the third straight tournament.
He said all signs pointed to a good week.
“Honestly, I think it was the perfect storm,” Eisenhuth said. “I had a good week of practice leading up to the tournament, and I felt good about my game physically, mentally and spiritually going into the round.”
Eisenhuth also credited Delo’s play for lessening the pressure to perform. Delo shot a first-round 69 and followed with a 73.
Josh Kehl and Karsten Briley both finished in the top 44 of the tournament for Master’s, which is scheduled to return to Phoenix for the ACU Spring Invitational on Feb. 12 and 13.
“It’s definitely weird to think in a couple months we’ll be on the same golf course, playing a lot of the same teams,” Eisenhuth said. “But it’s exciting knowing the momentum we’ve established. It’s a fun golf course, very scorable, always in good shape. … I’m really looking forward to it.”