YPSILANTI, Mich. -- The freshman duo of Michael Kanalas (Jackson, Mich./Northwest) and Tyler Newell (Dearborn Heights, Mich./Divine Child) shot out to solid starts before mother nature intervened causing two delays to begin the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) fall golf season. The conference event -- WHAC Jamboree #1 – was hosted by Concordia University-Ann Arbor at Polo Fields Golf & Country Club (Ypsilanti).
The WHAC's first fall jamboree marked the collegiate debut for the pair of Mustangs as Kanalas and Newell finished the stop-and-go day by shooting 89 and 91 respectively. The 18-hole scores would place Kanalas in 44th and Newell in 46th to finish their first collegiate competition.
Kanalas, a former all-conference performer at Jackson Northwest High School, started the day even through four holes before the horn sounded marking the first weather delay. When Kanalas and the field attempted to return to the links, weather would once again halt action as the jamboree's next start time was pushed back until 2:00 p.m.
Upon hitting the course for the third time, Kanalas and Newell looked to find their pace against their newfound collegiate counterparts. Newell, paired against other conference number two golfers, put together a well-rounded effort standing opposite of top competition. Kanalas was paired with a mix of one's and two's from other conference schools.
To highlight the day, Kanalas sank a birdie on four, while Newell found pars scattered throughout the course.
"They may not agree, but I think the guys played well today all things considered," said head coach Frank McAuliffe of his team. "Playing against new, elevated competition at any level is very challenging. The guys stepped up and had plenty of great moments in their first taste of college golf. We will return to practice tomorrow (Tuesday) to work on a few things before our next match."
McAuliffe and the Mustangs return to action Saturday (Sep. 14) to take part in the Siena Heights Invitational at Adrian's Lenawee Country Club. The Mustangs, still seeking the program's first team score, expect to field a full team at the Siena Heights Invitational.