Men's Golf | Men’s golf finishes in bottom half for second straight week
“One bad shot led to another” for Jumbos at the Duke Nelson Invitational
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 01:09
Looking to bounce back from their seventh−place finish out of 10 teams at last week’s Bowdoin Invitational, the men’s golf team competed in the annual Duke Nelson Invitational held this past weekend at the Ralph Myhre Golf Club in Middlebury, Vt. Instead, the Jumbos left the links in the bottom half of the standings for the second weekend in a row.
Despite the disappointing finish, there were a few positive storylines for the Jumbos over the weekend, including sophomore John Wawer’s round of 75 on Saturday and another strong performace from freshman Jay Wong, who shot a 76 on Sunday.
After day one, the team, consisting of Wawer, Wong, freshman Nick Dorian, co−captain sophomore Alex Zorniger, and junior Ty McGrail accumulated 325 strokes. Sunday’s mark was just one stroke higher (326), marking a consistent, yet equally dissatisfying end to the tournament. With a total of 651 strokes for the weekend, the Jumbos fell to 17th place in the field of 25 participating schools.
“Our performance wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for,” said senior co−captain Michael McCarthy, who did not compete in the tournament. “We will take it as a step, however small, in the right direction [because] our team total of 651 bested last week’s total of 659.”
Dorian had the third−best score for Tufts, finishing with a 165, leaving him in a tie for 74th overall. Zorniger provided a 170 as the team’s last qualifying score, while Wawer and Wong both finished the weekend tied, leading the Jumbos with scores of 158. The duo tied for 29th in the individual standings out of the 127 participating golfers.
“Each day was marked with a small bright spot, as both John and Jay were able to tame the course for a single day,” Zorniger said.
As for the rest of the field, a NESCAC rival shot out to an early lead Saturday, with Williams leading the field by eight strokes, but the Ephs slumped with a disappointing 321 on Sunday. Instead, it was Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that came roaring back to win the team title with a final score of 607, coming back from a 16−stroke deficit on Saturday and besting second place Skidmore by six.
The Jumbos, meanwhile, were left to rue missed opportunities and look toward to the next tournament.
“The team showed improvement this weekend despite a somewhat disappointing performance,” Assistant Coach George Pendergast said. “We played well enough to finish in the top half of the teams, but we left a bunch of strokes out there. One of the ways that we are looking to improve is in our mentality: being able to forget the bad shots and only concentrate on the next one.”
Short−term memory is especially important in golf, a sport in which the slightest hiccups in mechanics can lead to large errors on the course. Uncontrollable variables like weather and course conditions can also be problems for the players but such concerns are no excuse, according to Zorniger.
The Jumbos will try to jumpstart their season next weekend at the Williams Invitational. The invitational will be held at the Taconic Golf Course in Williamstown, Mass.