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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Ryan Tall wins Patriot League Individual Championship, Lafayette places second overall

Senior Ryan Tall shakes hands with the competition following his 30-foot putt to win the Patriot League Individual Championship. (Photo Courtesy of GoLeopards)

The first season for Lafayette golf that was not impacted by Covid came to an end on Friday with senior Ryan Tall winning the individual Patriot League Title. The team fell just short at the Patriot League Tournament, placing second behind Loyola Maryland.

Tall began the final day in second place and with the team in third, and he looked to put the team on his back during the last round.

“Going into the last round I was a couple shots back, and then at one point I was four or five strokes back, so it really did not seem like my time to win, but then a bunch of things happened where coming down the stretch I was able to put together some good shots,” Tall said.

With only two holes left, Tall sat two strokes back. In a dire situation, he stepped up to the challenge, hitting a clutch drive to birdie hole 17 and continued that success into hole 18. Tall hit his birdie putt to the right edge of the cup. The ball circled the hole almost one full time, but it fell and Tall gained a share of the lead, forcing a playoff hole.

“I vividly remember standing on the 17th tee and thinking that I am going to need to birdie at least one of the next two holes in order to even have a chance,” Tall said. “I knew that I could only control what I can control and all I do is focus on my golf game and give my team a chance to win.”

In overtime, Tall hit the green in regulation, setting himself up for a birdie to possibly win the match. After the other players hit their fourth shot, Tall had a chance to win the match and the championship with a 30-foot putt.

The crowd erupted as Tall struck the put. Tall’s teammates, friends and family mobbed him on the green.

“It feels awesome. I’m really honored to be able to compete and represent this school,” Tall said. “Going into it, [it] just kind of felt like the perfect storm. I don’t think I could have dreamt it any better than the way it unfolded.”

The team collectively played better Sunday than both the previous days, finishing with a collective 15 over among the six-person team. Unfortunately, it was not good enough to move them into the title spot, and the team finished second.

“It sucks to come in second place, in my time here at Lafayette we’ve only won a couple times as a team and it’s just one of the best feelings in the world. No matter how you played, it just feels like you did something right,” Tall said.

This second-place finish was good enough to land two Leopards on All Patriot League teams. Freshman Raymond Dennehy finished tied for tenth, earning All Patriot League Second Team status. Tall was not only named to the All Patriot League First Team with his four-under score, but he was also named Patriot League Men’s Golfer of the year.

Tall now will go on to play in the NCAA regional tournament hosted by Yale as an individual, where he will represent both Lafayette and the Patriot league on a national stage. The Men’s Golf Championship New Haven Regional will be held May 15-18.

“It’s a little bit of sensory overload, you know, you’re back on campus and about to take finals but you also gotta stay ready,” Tall said. “Playing against a lot of good teams at regionals, I’m really just going to try and embrace the experience. I am going there with an open mind, saying anything could happen and trying to focus on the next shot.”

As his time at Lafayette comes to a close, Tall has begun to reminisce about the time he spent on College Hill.

“I think my time on the golf team is pretty resembling of my time here at Lafayette. Way more ups than downs, but the downs have been there,” Tall said. “Lafayette has taught me to be resilient and fall in love with the game at a more mature level, knowing that I always need to be focusing on the next shot, the next moment.”

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Charlie Berman
Charlie Berman, Sports Editor

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