The DePaul men’s golf team finished tied for 13th at Erin Hills this past week, but both coach Betty Kauffman and senior Moritz Ackerhans were optimistic.
“We wanted to focus on playing shot to shot,” Kaufmann said. “The good news is that we stuck to that formula. We just weren’t getting up and down.”
With five teams in the top 40 nationally at what Kaufmann called “an unforgiving course,” the Blue Demons were aware of the challenge.
“It’s fun to play at that tournament, with such a strong field,” Ackerhans said. His performance cemented his status as DePaul’s leading average scorer.
Ackerhans began the final day of the tournament tied for 11th but after recording a 6-over-par 78, fell to a tie for 30th. That’s where he finished when all was said and done.
“He truly had a lot of opportunities,” Kaufmann said. “He just didn’t make enough birdies.”
To capitalize on more chances, Kaufmann said the Demons are focusing on the basics.
“We’re stressing the short game and putting all the time,” she said.
DePaul has time to get their classwork and golf game together before their next tournament Oct. 21 at Georgetown.
“First I have to get my midterms done,” Ackerhans said. As for the golf, he emphasized a similar mental focus and stressed the importance of “staying in tournament mode.”
Ackerhans also wants to help the freshman adjust both on and off the course.
“They might have high expectations, but sometimes that gets in the way of a good score,” Ackerhans said. “You have to look at the positives.”
Kaufmann was complimentary of her new players.
“I like the progress (the freshmen) are making,” she said. “I would like to see them in the top quarter with a couple of top-10 finishes.”
Despite being a finance major, Ackerhans does not like to employ that thinking on the course.
“It’s not good for me to think about numbers, but I like to see my average score around 73.5,” he said.
Ackerhans is looking to enjoy his last season at DePaul but has set the bar high for the Blue Demons.
“The Big East is our main concern,” Ackerhans said. “We can definitely win it.”