Though it was washed out this past Saturday, the Buc Open Golf Invite, the Buccaneers’ lone home meet of the season, continued the long history of a strong program at Beloit College.
The program won the Big Four Championship in 1932 and seven State Championships between 1937 and 1954. They captured Midwest Conference Championships in 1941 and 1962. Three individuals earned MWC Medalist honors – R. Philip Lindley in 1962, H. Hurst Gibson in 1941 and Arthur Floberg in 1938 and 39.
Floberg is one of only ten golfers in MWC history to capture medalist honors twice and was one of the best golfers in the college’s history. In addition to his two MWC crowns, he won the State Championship three times (and finished second by a stroke in a third year) and had a 24-2 record in dual competitions. In 1939 he competed at the National Intercollegiate Tournament at Notre Dame and advanced to the quarterfinals of the meet. He defeated the Big Ten medalist from Northwestern in his first match; the former Western Amateur Champion from the University of Detroit in his second match; and a golfer from the University of Oklahoma in his third match to advance to the quarters. In the quarterfinal match he finally fell to the eventual meet champion from Tulane University.
The first female golfer (that was specifically mentioned) was Catherine Bonner, who played with the 1959 squad. There were occasional female team members on the squad through the next ten years or so. A varsity women's golf team started to get going around 1996.
One last interesting tidbit: It seems that men's basketball coaches transformed into men's golf coaches well before current Buccaneer coach Brian Vraney assumed the spot. Robert Jaggard, who coached basketball from 1929-36, was the first. The legendary Dolph Stanley served for a time as the coach as did the equally legendary Bill Knapton. Cecil Youngblood preceded Vraney in both the basketball and golf positions.
LAST WEEK IN BUCCANEER ATHLETICS
Buccaneer Baseball (13-7, 5-1 MWC) went 3-1 on the week, all Midwest Conference games, to hold on to the top spot in the MWC North Division. Alex Norman improved to 5-1 with his fourth shutout of the season in a win over Ripon College on Sunday. Mike Kovach surpassed career records for stolen bases at Lawrence last Tuesday and for hits and total bases with one swing of the bat against Ripon College on Sunday. The Bucs travel to Ripon on Monday for two games, play a single game against Rockford College at Road Ranger Stadium Wednesday night, then have a four-game MWC series with Carroll University beginning Friday with two games in Beloit.
Buccaneer Softball (7-18, 5-4 MWC) went 1-1 on the week, splitting a doubleheader against Ripon College on Sunday. Katy Sandt became the third Beloit pitcher with 300 career strikeouts and threw her third shutout of the season in the opener. The Bucs played a doubleheader at Rockford College on Wednesday before hosting Carroll University for two MWC games on Saturday in the home finale.