Parkland golf showing early season dominance

Adam Vilmin               

Photo by Zonghui Li | The Prospectus Parkland’s golf team practices on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015.

Photo by Zonghui Li | The Prospectus
Parkland’s golf team practices on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015.

Staff Writer

After starting the season with a third-place finish, the Cobra golfers have unleashed a tear of three straight team wins, including a Midwest Athletic Conference (MWAC) championship win. Leading the team is sophomore Dom Knight, who after flirting with a few first place individual finishes, found the top spot at the Millikin Invite.

“Its a good start to the season,” head coach Corbin Sebens said. “I knew we had a special group of guys, and I wasn’t sure on how they would pick up on things, especially the freshmen, but with Dom [Knight] and Tom [Webster] as sophomores leading the way, its been going well.”

Knight, who came into the season having high expectations, has been an imposing force on the course all season. A summer that included making the second flight of qualifiers for the British Open back home in England has Knight playing with a tighter game this fall.

“I was playing [in the qualifiers] with a couple of guys who are very high ranked players back home. The field that week was strong, a bunch of tour players, including Retief Goosen. That was a good experience being around those guys, seeing the standard you need to be at,” Knight said.

Retief Goosen is a two-time U.S. Open winner.

“Since day one, Dom has been a hard worker; always the first to get here and first to leave. He’s always been a good player, so the win just gets a little more confidence under his belt,” Sebens said. “The other guys see that and they elevate their game, so everyone plays better having that kind of leader.”

Knight has also had an impact on roommate Josh Lamb’s transition. Lamb came over this year to play from Scotland. As Knight says, “It’s different styles of golf and life.” With Knight having been through the process already, it has been beneficial to Lamb.

“I know that last year it took me a little longer to get settled,” Knight said. “This time, Josh has been acclimated in a few weeks. Obviously, we’re miles away from home right now, so you’ll never settle completely, but it’s good to have it happen quicker.”

The success at the beginning of the season will take some focus to sustain with the onset of winter until the spring and the start of qualifying for the national tournament. Sebens doesn’t see a reason to worry.

“It’s always difficult but not a bad thing to put the clubs away for a little, regroup and get healthy,” Sebens said. “It can take a while to get back, but we’re going to have the mindset to get right back to where we are now when it’s time to start hitting again.”

“Obviously the fall gives us a lot of confidence,” Knight said. “The spring though, is a completely new season. No one on the team has had any competition for three or four months. I’m pretty sure that we’re going to reach a higher level than we have in the fall once we get the rust off.”

Success and leadership like this have the Cobras’ goals set high.

“We’re not trying to go out and just see how well we can do. The goal is winning every tournament. That includes the National Championship. I think it could be a pretty special year,” Sebens said.