- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 28 September 2016
- Written by JOHN SORCE | SPORTS EDITOR
The Monmouth University men’s and women’s golf teams have teed off their fall seasons. The men have competed in one event so far, while the women have competed in two.
The men placed 12th out of 14 teams in their opening tournament of the fall campaign, the Central Connecticut Invitational in Simsbury, CT. The Hawks carded back-to-back rounds of 310 in the two-round event that took place at Meadow Country Club, which is a par-72, 6,915-yard course.
“We were only in school for two days before we had to go and make that trip so I took most of the veterans who have some experience,” men’s Head Coach Dennis Shea said. “We went up there and we had seven rounds out of the ten that were in the 70s, but nobody went low. 310 is fair for our first tournament, but we have to shoot 300 or better in order to be competitive.”
Senior Tommy Whelan led the Hawks in an event for the first time in his career with rounds of 75 and 77 for a total of 152, finishing tied for 29th overall in the 36-hole event. Sophomore Drake Ferriter finished three strokes behind Whalen, posting rounds of 75 and 78 to card 155.
With the little time the team has together before going out to the first tournament, players need to make sure they are preparing throughout the summer.
“Most of us play in quite a few tournaments during the summer so we can stay sharp and in the weeks leading up to school, you start to really grind and get your game in shape and hopefully you come in playing well,” Whalen said.
The women opened their fall season at the Navy Fall Invitational, which took place from Sept. 10-11 at Naval Academy Golf Club in Annapolis, MD which is a par-72, 6,085-yard course. They finished in tenth place in the two round, 16 team event.
The Hawks opened the event shooting 321 in the first round before carding 327 in the second round to finish with 648. Junior Faith Garcia led MU, carding a 160 with rounds of 81 and 79.
“I just try not be as nervous and to be mentally focused on myself instead of my surroundings,” Garcia said. “I try not to be overwhelmed on the course.”
The blue and white also participated in the Tignanelli Towson Invitational for their second tournament of the season. The two round, 36-hole event took place at Eagle’s Nest Country Club in Phoenix, MD, a 6,162-yard, par 72 course.
MU posted two rounds of 322 and finished with a share of ninth overall in the 13 team tournament. Garcia once again paced the blue and white, shooting rounds of 77 and 79 to finish with 156. Junior Erin DiDonato also had two scores under 80 as she shot 79 and 78, totaling 157 in the two-day event.
“I was happy to find out that Erin DiDonato did a lot of work over the summer and has come in very strong this year,” women’s Head Coach Susan DeKalb said. “Faith has continued her leadership on the team being the first player, but has Erin really stepped up after having some back injuries and other things a season ago. She has been one of the big surprises so far.”
The men will next tee off at the Hawk Invitational at Deal Country Club in Deal on Thursday, Sept. 29. The 1:30 p.m. start will also feature Farleigh Dickinson, Lafayette, Saint Peter’s, and Manhattan.
“It is a home course advantage to some extent, but you still have to put numbers up and hope that you have you’re A-game every time you come out,” Shea said. “Some days we have it and some days we don’t. Golf is a very tough sport because even the best in the business have off days so you just need to hope that everybody comes with their A-game.”
The women will be the Quinnipiac Classic in New Haven, CT. The first round begins on Monday, Oct. 10 at 8 a.m. and round two will follow on Tuesday, Oct. 11, also at 8 a.m.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics