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Calvin Sports News
  Men's Golf Team Toots Its Horn
By Jeff Febus
 

For just the second time this decade, the Calvin men's golf team got a chance to toot its own horn.

Following a long-standing tradition in Calvin College athletics, the Calvin golfers made a victory lap around campus on October 4, blaring their car horns en route to the Calvin Fieldhouse. The tradition is such, that Calvin athletic teams are granted a victory lap on the school bus after a victory away from campus. To signal a victory to the student body, the bus horn is blared through campus as the bus makes its way to the Calvin Fieldhouse to drop off the athletes. Although no bus was needed October 4 with the Calvin golf team competing at the Watermark Country Club a few miles away, there was plenty to celebrate as the Knights captured first place at the sixth MIAA outing of the year with a total of 401 strokes.

The first-place performance was Calvin's first in MIAA competition since the 1992 season and its best-ever team score at the Watermark Country Club since the Knights adopted it as their home course for the 1992 season.

During the 1990's, Olivet has dominated the MIAA men's golf scene, capturing eight league titles with Albion and Hope snatching one title each. Heading into the outing on October 4, Calvin's lone victory was in the final MIAA outing of the 1992 season when the Knights recorded a first place total of 401 strokes at the seventh and final MIAA outing of the year.

Calvin's total of 401 strokes was again good enough for first place as the Knights finished five strokes ahead of second place Albion and Olivet and seven strokes ahead of fourth-place Hope.

"I'm really surprised and a little shocked," said veteran Calvin men's golf coach Jim Timmer who has been at the helm of the program since 1982. "Hope (the eventual 1999 MIAA champion) has such a strong team this year that I did not think we would ever beat them. I'm just really excited for our kids, particularly our seniors (Mark VanStee, Joe Rabbitt, Brandon Lummen and student assistant coach Matt VandeBunte). They deserve a chance to soak in something like this after four years of hard work on our team."

A graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School, VanStee led the way for the Knights at the outing with a round of 77 that earned him a three-way tie for medalist honors, marking the fourth MIAA medalist performance of his career. VanStee was one of three Calvin players in the top nine at the outing. Sophomore Bryan Hoekstra finished tied for fourth with a round of 78 while sophomore Jon Kalmink finished in a three-way tie for ninth with a score of 81.

According to Timmer, the Watermark Country Club is considered one of the toughest if not the toughest golf course in the MIAA men's golf circuit. Calvin's total of 401 strokes would end up as the highest first place score in eight MIAA outings this fall. "Watermark is the probably the toughest course in the league," said Timmer. "It's a fair course but you have to hit the ball straight and you're not going to get a lot of bounces or rolls on your drives."

Playing at home was a big advantage for Calvin according to Timmer. "I think any time you can play on your home course it's a huge advantage," he said. "Our kids knew that they were playing on a tough course today and I told them that a score in the low 80's would be very competitive. When they picked up a bogey or a double-bogey, they didn't let that fluster them."

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