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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Golf takes last place at Patriot League Championship

Sophomore Michael Walsh led the Leopards at the Patriot League Championship last weekend. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Last weekend, the golf team wrapped up its season by taking last place at the Patriot League Championship (PLC) at the par-72 Hillendale Country Club.

“We had much higher hopes going into the PLC, it was definitely not expected, but some weeks you unfortunately get a few more bad breaks than good, and it doesn’t go the way you hope,” sophomore Michael Walsh wrote in an email.

The opening round of the championship took place on Friday, during which the teams battled rain and wind gusts up to 15 miles per hour. Walsh wrote that the weather knocked the team down “both physically and mentally,” and members never recovered from then on in the competition.

“We were in first place for the first, I think eleven holes, and then the last seven holes we played in terrible conditions,” sophomore Raymond Dennehy said. “The rain just came down.”

The Leopards ended the afternoon tied with Loyola Maryland and Army West Point for sixth place. While this outcome was not what the team had hoped, Lafayette’s underclassmen had some standout performances.

“We all just want to compete so badly, having the desire to be successful goes a long way, and that shows with the performance of some of our underclassmen,” Walsh wrote. “We are very good at pushing each other, which has also contributed.”

First-year Harry Dessel finished the afternoon at ninth overall after shooting six-over-par 78, including three birdies.

“We were super excited with the way Dessel played,” Dennehy said. “We’re super pumped with the way he progressed throughout the year.”

Right behind Dessel at seven-over-par 79 was Dennehy, leaving him tied for 16th.

Sophomore Sean Saw and junior Carter Ablon were tied at 28th overall after Friday’s outing after shooting 81s.

“Ablon played very well in Patriot League,” Dennehy said. “I know we all finished poorly, but he showed a lot of promise.”

Dennehy explained that five members of the team were picked for the championship based on their performances throughout the year, and then there was a playoff the week before Patriot Leagues for the sixth and final spot, which Ablon ultimately won.

Lehigh University swept the course with a team score of 307 on the first day.

“Going into it I had high hopes, but after day one we were in a kind of a tough position,” Dennehy said.

Round two took place on Saturday, during which the Leopards were bumped down to eighth place as Navy and Army West Point took over the sixth and seventh spots.

Walsh led the Leopards with an even-par 72, landing him tied for 17th place overall. Dessel was six-over-par 78 once again in the second round, sitting tied for 21st.

The duo of Saw and Ablon struck again, carding 78s with 159 strokes apiece over the first two rounds, earning the 30th overall position.

Colgate pushed past Lehigh for first place going into the final.

The final round took place on Sunday morning, with the Leopards maintaining the last place overall with a team score of 935.

The teams faced harsh weather conditions once again, as the final round of play was stalled and resumed at 12:30 p.m.

Walsh finished tied for 18th overall, with Dennehy not far behind tied for 26th. Dessel and Ablon closed out the final round tied for 33rd overall.

“I definitely think that we hoped for something else, but I feel that we prepared very well … golf’s a game where you can play well and still score bad, and I felt like we played well as a group and we just kind of couldn’t piece it together,” Dennehy said. “It was one of those weekends where everything just wasn’t falling into place.”

Lehigh ultimately surpassed Colgate to pull out the overall championship win. While this wasn’t the turnout the team hoped for, Walsh sees potential for the future.

“I am really proud of how our team persevered through some of the tougher moments this spring when things did not go as planned. If we were not successful one week, everyone would be ready to get after it again in practice, which is a really strong quality of any team,” Walsh wrote. “As a unit, we have a bunch of guys who are always striving to get better.”

Going forward, the team maintains the goal of winning a college tournament.

“I think that’s something that our group as a whole hasn’t done in the past two years. So if we were to get a win in the fall, that would kind of propel us forward into having confidence, knowing that we can, in fact, win,” Dennehy said. “Going into Patriot Leagues, I feel like that will give us an edge.”

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Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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