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August 27, 1969 - Image 6

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Page Six


Wednesday, August 27, 1969


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Links outlook


One can only wonder what
happened to the Wolverine golf
team this past season. The com-
pleted picture is simple-a dis-
appointing sixth place in the
Big Ten-but fitting the pieces
of the puzzle together is an en-
tirely different matter.
Before the season began both
head coach Bill Newcomb and
assistant coach Bill Newton
were optimistic about the team's
chances, and rightly so.
In 1968 the linksinen fin-
ished third in the Big Ten and
although they lost All-American
John Schroeder, Randy Erskine,
who finished third in individ-
ual competition in the Big Ten
and was awarded honorable
mention to the All-American
team as a sophomore, was re-
turning as were five additional
lettermen to help the depth
of the squad.
Even the Wolverines' opener
gav-e no indication of their fu-
Lire fortunes as they captured
lifth place in the annual Miami
Invitational Tournament, with
Keith Mohan and Rod Sumpter
leading the team. Erskine, who
started with a disappointing 80-
81-161, patched together his

game to finish with 316, good
for third among the Wolverines.
Assistant coach Newton was
extremely pleased and noted
that, "the team's fifth place
finish was excellent when you
consider that they beat every
other Big Ten team and that

ished with a first round total
of 417, good for 14th place
among a 15-team field and over
30 strokes behind leading Mich-
igan State and Purdue.
Coach Newcomb w a s not
overly pleased with the results
and commented, "all we c a n

Any Iopes for (a victory in the Big Ten Tour-
namnent were washed away after the first round
(s the Wolverines were over 20 strokes out of
first. Things went from bad to worse in the
final round as they finished in sixth place, 56
strokes belind winning Michigan State.

the top four teams are able to
play all year round."
Newton was also looking
ahead to a successful season and
continued, "The team is strong
with a lot of depth and we
could capture the Big Ten title."
Their next appearance, how-
ever, was worse than "Blac k
Monday" in '29. In the first
round of the Robert Kepler
Ohio Invitational Tournament
in Columbus the Wolverines fin-


hope is that there will be a
great improvement in today's
play." In accord with N e w -
comb's remarks the team did
edge up a little, but then there
are not too many ways you can
go from 14th place.
The Linksmen showed mar-
ginal improvement in the next
three tourneys and were consid-
ered the dark horse contender
for the title.
Any hopes for a victory in the
Big Ten Tournament were
washed away after the first

round as the Wolverines were
over 20 strokes out of first.
Things went from bad to worse
in the final 36 holes as they
finished in sixth place, 56 strok-
es behind winning Michigan
Sumpter had had a decent
shot at the. individual honors
but he couldn't follow his pace
of the first day and slipped to a
77 77-154 final round and 302
overall which left him way back
in the p~ack.
The most ironic story, though,
belongs to Erskine who was giv-
en a good chance to capture
first in the Big Ten Champion-
Erskine, however, felt differ-
ently. After his poor finish in
the Miami Invitational he was
consistently beaten by Sumpter
and various others on the team.
It was hoped he would regain
his winning form by the Big
Tens, but all Erskine could
muster was a dismal 319 total
which placed him fifthout of
six Wolverines.
Erskine was undaunted by his
endeavors for the Michigan golf
team. Wasting no time after
the season drew to a close he
drove over to the Washtenaw
Country Club and shot a steady
75 73 72 73-293 to win the
Michigan Medal Play Tourna-
inent by two strokes.
The win was quite a change
Irom past performances and all
Erskine could say was, "Actual-
ly, I'm just a slow starter."
Indeed the 1969 version of the
Michigan links squad was a
puzzle. The late bloom of Er-
skine and poor to mediocre play
by the rest of the team are
unanswered mysteries.
But more puzzling is the cali-
bre of the 1970 squad. No one
has yet committed himself on
this year's prospects, especially
with the team losing Sumpter
and Captain Mark Cristenson
through graduation. Erskine is
returning and hopefully will
improve his Big Ten play by
getting out of the starting
blocks a little sooner.


-Daily-Andy Sacks
Steve Forsythe, Michigan's regular second baseman throughout the 1969 baseball campaign, slides back safely to first after an attempted
pick-off in an early season contest against Notre Dame. Also in the picture is Irish first sacker, John Rogers.
Dia mondmen, strike peak arl

Welcome Students!
says Don Dascola, M '36
to The

Maple Village .. .

On March 19th, the Associat-
ed Press listed the top twenty
diamond teams in the country.
Coach Moby Benedict's Michi-
gan baseball squad was in the
thirteenth slot in the poll.
The publishing of the poll
probably marked the high point
of the season for the Wolver-
ine nine. At the time the poll
was released Michigan had al-
ready lost four of its top play-
ers to the professional r a n k s.
Gone were Elliott Maddox, the
Big Ten's top hitter in 1968, and
pitchers Dave Renkiewicz, Jack
Hurley and Steve Evans.
Michigan began the 1 9 6 9
campaign by losing eight of
eleven contests on their trip
to Arizona. Although the re-
cord was dismal, the final jud-
gment on the Blue nine had to
be withheld, since the 1968 Wol-
verine edition had lost ten of its
first eleven to the same teams
and then proceeded to finish
above .500 for the season and to


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capture fourth place in the Big
Ten with a strong 9-5 mark.
A final verdict was forthcom-
ing on the Wolverines shortly
after their return. Despite t h e
fact that Coach Benedict's team
had played eleven games, it had
little difficulty in blowing
games to the untouted Univer-
sity of Detroit and Bowling
Green, among others.
By the time the Big Ten sea-
son had started, most Wolver-
ine supporters had lost hope,
and those who still held the
faith soon lost that when the
Blue nine opened the Big Ten
campaign with three consecu-
tive defeats, including a double-
header sweep at the hands of
Michigan State, a seldom ach-
ieved feat.
Suddenly, though, the picture
began to brighten. In a com-
plete turnaround the team play-
ed like world champions and
reeled off five straight wins to
move into a distant second place
in the conference-
The euphoric feeling of the
fans was soon lost when Mich-
igan reverted to their Metlike
play and lost three of four con-
tests to Illinois and Purdue and
tumbled out of the race for the
I Big Ten title.
Minnesota easily went on to
capture its second consecutive
conference championship.
The diamond squad finally
wound up the season with a re-
spectable 8-8 mark and a fifth
place tie in the Big Ten; how-
ever, the team's overall mark of
14-22 was one of the worst in

Mark Carrow Tom Lundstedt

Make WAHRS your
' headquarters
for all your textbook
and college supplies

modern Michigan baseball his-
tory. /
The outlook for next season is
completely in the realm of the
unknown. In spite of the poor
campaign, the 1969 Wolverine
squad was veteran in nature:
Gone next year will be the en-
tire starting infield including
Glenn Redmon, who was a
second team all Big Ten selec-
tion at third base. Also missing
will be two of the starting out-
fielders, John Kraft and John
Arval, both of whom hovered
around the .300 mark during the
past season.
Back in entirety next year
will be the Wolverine pitching
staff. Last season the top hurl-

ers were Mark Carrow, a right-
hander and lefthanders J i m
Burton and Gerry Christman.
Burton led the Big Ten in
strike-outs during the 1 9 6 9
campaign. .
Also back for the 1970 sea-
son is Tom Lundstedt, who
shared the catching duties with
the departing Pete Titone.
The uncertainty of the 1970
season is heightened by the
fact that beginning with the
upcoming season, freshmen will
be allowed to play at the var-
sity level. This means that all
Big Ten coaches will have two
groups of newcomers to mold
into a winning combination.



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