Golf finishes middle of the pack in season opener

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The golf team is holding their heads high after brushing off the rust at their opening invitational Savannah, Ga. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Colleen McNamara, Staff writer

The golf team placed seventh out of 16 teams in their opening invitational at Crosswinds Golf Club in Savannah, Ga. on Saturday, Feb. 19 and Sunday, Feb. 20. 

Seniors Ryan Tall and Kazuki Osawa, junior Martin Vanhaelst, sophomore Michael Walsh and freshman Sean Saw traveled to Georgia to compete. 

Osawa led the Leopards with an individual score of T20.

“A lot of the other teams have already been playing in tournaments, and also are in warmer climates where they have been able to practice outside,” Tall wrote in an email.

For the Leopards, spring golf is all about trying to get prepared for the Patriot League championship. 

“We want to be as competitive in the Patriot League as possible, and each tournament helps to sharpen our skills as best we can for the championship in May,” Tall wrote. “We want to contend for a league championship and we know we have the talent and are willing to all put in the work to give us the best chance possible.”

While teams usually carry over their outdoor summer training into their fall seasons, the spring season is more difficult for northern schools as many of the players have a break in the winter and can not use that time to practice together.

“The transition from indoor to grass can be very drastic, so I was just trying my best to ensure that important aspects of what I had worked on carried over to this weekend, trying to avoid any sudden changes,” Walsh wrote. 

While the team knew they were at a disadvantage entering Savannah’s tournament, their goal was to remain consistent and focus on teamwork. 

“We knew we were going to be a little rusty so [our mindset was to] just stay patient and not try to force anything,” Walsh wrote. “Obviously the most important part of our season is quickly approaching, so it’s good to get a head start to evaluate where we are at and figure out the next steps to getting back to our usual forms.”

“Our goals this spring are to build a strong sense of team chemistry because I know when a team is close knit it is much easier to play good golf,” Tall wrote.

Walsh looks to implement lessons from Savannah’s tournament for the rest of the season. 

“I believe I have a good foundation of where I am with my game so the next goal is to build off the positives and negatives from this past weekend and focus on how I can get better and contribute to our next event,” Walsh wrote. 

Tall plans to lead by example as an upperclassman this spring. 

“No matter if it’s a good round or bad round, it’s important to be able to hold your head high and be the best teammate possible,” Tall wrote. “Personally it is a goal of mine to help lead the team in scoring. We want to win tournaments this spring and I want to help in any way I can.”

The Leopards have about a month to prepare for their next tournament. Lafayette will travel to Berlin, Md. for the Rum Pointe Seaside Golf Links the weekend of March 26.