Lake Region State College's Eric Gullicks prepared for national golf tournament
By Sam Herder
Journal Sports Editor
Lake Region State College sophomore golfer Eric Gullicks had a bit of a wait after the Region 13 Tournament back in October.
The results were still filing in, and Gullicks and head coach Shane Hersch weren’t sure if he qualified for the NJCAA National Tournament.
After an hour of waiting, Gullicks’ score of 154 was good enough to qualify him for nationals, making him the first Royals male golfer to do so.
Gullicks had to do some more waiting between tournaments, as it begins Sunday at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind.
With the winter season and graduating LRSC last week, Gullicks, who is from Finley, N.D., has been finding any time he can to get prepared.
“It’s been tough with work and the end of school, but as soon as the range opened up I was out there and I have been getting out as much as possible,” he said.
The experience of the national tournament will be a first for Hersch as well, who is in his first year as head coach.
“I'm really excited to be a part of it and try to help Eric succeed,” Hersch said. “I think it'll be a lot of commotion at first, but once Eric and I get on the course for the first practice round we will be able to lock in. It’s something I will enjoy, but I also want to approach it like a business trip.”
Kelsey Schlenk went to nationals last year for the Lady Royals and was in the national tournament again this week. Gullicks said he talked with Schlenk about her experience to get some tips.
Schlenk told him the course she played at last year was more difficult than anything she had played before, and Gullicks is expecting the same at Swan Lake.
However, Gullicks said having two practice rounds will help him get accustomed quickly.
“I just want to go out and play good golf,” he said. “Hopefully keep myself in the 70s, but low-80s would be good as well. I see myself scoring there and then seeing where that places me in the field. I just want to compete against the course well and put up a good score.”
Gullicks plans to continue his golf career next year at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.
It is Hersch’s hope that his season this season paves the way for future LRSC golfers and the program.
“Eric is setting up the future for LRSC golf,” Hersch said. “Not only by making the national tournament, but with the huge amount of improvement from his freshman year to his sophomore year. Hopefully young men that play golf in North Dakota see what type of success you can have here. Eric is a great young man and I'm really excited he has the opportunity to represent Lake Region State College.”