The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Golf team takes silver for second straight week

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The golf team celebrates after they battled back from fourth place to a second place finish at the ABARTA Invitational. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

The golf team hosted the 20-team two-day ABARTA collegiate invitational last week, taking second after losing a sudden-death playoff hole to determine the championship.

The Leopards were led by senior captains Ryan Tall and Kazuki Osawa who both ended the 36-hole tournament two under after finishing even on Sunday.

After taking second place in last week’s Columbia invitational, the team ended the first day in fourth place, looking to recover and reclaim their spot on the podium.

“Even though we were in fourth, I would say we were still up there to do some damage,” Tall said. “When you are in fourth, your back is really up against the wall. We knew that we played well, but also just needed to communicate that we have a lot of work left and that we shouldn’t be satisfied.”

The Leopards, as a result of hosting the tournament, had two teams in play during the tournament, which was last Sunday and Monday. Their “A” group was led by Tall and Osawa along with junior Martin Vanhaelst, sophomore Michael Walsh and freshman Ray Dennehy. Vanhaelst, Walsh and Dennehy supplemented their captain’s performance by shooting four, five and six over, respectively.

The “B” group was headed by freshman Sean Saw who finished tied for 10th after day one. This group included contributions from freshmen Michael Bell and Quint Dingledine, and seniors T.J. Repcynski and Drew Steiner.

“We had guys on both teams that played really well,” Tall said. “We really tried to echo the message that we have a lot of work left. Let’s go out and play like we won this tournament last year.”

However, as they surged up the Monday standings, they passed perennial power Bucknell and ended the tournament looking down at many Patriot League foes for the second straight week. Lafayette shot three-under as a team on the day, dropping its overall stroke total by 14 from 297 on Sunday to 283. It was enough to bring the Leopards into a tie for first with Iona and the opportunity to win the championship.

The two teams entered a playoff sudden-death hole to determine a winner, but the Leopards ultimately came up short.

“The leaders on the team have really done their best to lead by example and there’s a really great team chemistry going on right now,” Tall said. “I think we are all really close, and if we can continue to push each other, we will have the best chance of winning.”

After finishing 15th of 22 teams at the “Battle at Rum Point” back in March, the Leopards have taken home a silver medal in two straight tournaments. The team is playing with strong momentum going into the final tournaments of the year.

“I think Rum Pointe was a tough hurdle for us to get over. Being able to just kind of settle ourselves has given us a really great opportunity to feel comfortable with our games,” Tall said. “Right now, a lot of the guys would say that they are swinging it the best they have this year so far.”

The golf team will compete next in the Wildcat Spring Invitational at Villanova at the Radnor Valley Country Club this weekend. The Leopards will look to build on the momentum from these recent tournaments before their annual head-to-head against Lehigh in two weeks.

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Charlie Berman
Charlie Berman, Sports Editor
VAP

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