Ashland University's men's golf team played six rounds in September to begin the fall 2019 non-championship season.
The Eagle men will start October playing 54 holes on Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 7-8) at the Midwest Regional at Fox Run in Eureka, Mo. The 11-team regional will include AU, Drury, Hillsdale, Indianapolis, Kentucky Wesleyan, Lindenwood, Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri S&T, Rockhurst, Southern Indiana and Trevecca Nazarene.
Ashland rebounded from a 10th-place finish at the season-opening Don Underwood Invitational with a tied-for-seventh-place showing at the Doc Spragg Fall Invitational.
Eagle head coach Dennis North said the field at Findlay for tournament No. 2 might have been stronger than the one they see in Missouri.
"Findlay was a really good test for us," North said. "A handful of shots out of fourth place, and we played our last four holes 9-over par on the last day. Based upon where we finished last year, what the expectations are, that's why we pick events like that so we can compete against the best and see where we stand."
The early-season pacesetter for the AU men are junior Ben Jones, who has collected two top-10 finishes and is averaging a round of 72 so far this fall.
"Ben's a horse at the top," said North. "We're blessed to have Ben as a leader on this team. He's a great role model for the rest of the players on the team, of what hard work does."
Ashland's No. 2 golfer is freshman Andrew Kolar, who is averaging a score of 73.83 and has three par or better rounds to start his collegiate career.
"We knew coming in that he was probably one of the most heralded freshmen coming in, based on his resume in junior golf," North said. "I expected him to be a Day 1 starter, and I don't know if I'm surprised that he's No. 2, but I'm proud of him. He's done a terrific job."
Sophomore Luke Tanner (77.17 average) and senior Patrick Steffen (78.17) are entrenched in the starting lineup, while the No. 5 spot has been shared through two tournaments by sophomore Brent Dillon and freshman Caden Gallagher (both 81.33 average).
"We've really tried to focus in on, the last couple years, getting production at that No. 5 spot," said North. "We have some guys that are more than capable of doing it. We've just got to get the best out of them."
As a team, the Eagles' early-season average of 300.17 is slightly higher than the 2018-19 full-season average of 299.71.