- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 03 November 2016
- Written by JOHN SORCE | SPORTS EDITOR
The University’s men’s golf team wrapped up their fall schedule at the Lehigh Invitational, which took place on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22, and head into the winter looking to improve for their spring season.
The blue and white endured the wind and rain and shot 616 in the two round event to finish tied for sixth with Siena. Seniors Tommy Whelan and Jesse Hazam paced MU and finished tied for 20th overall with 155.
“We were in ninth place after the first day but we kind of figured that half the field didn’t even want to play in the tournament. We kind of just gutted it out and played relatively well the second day,” Head Coach Dennis Shea said. “Our score wasn’t that low, but none of them were due to the conditions. We moved from ninth to sixth and we happened to beat all the conference teams at that tournament which was a plus and it gets the guys kind of excited for the spring.”
Hazam shot an 81 in the first round but improved in round two and put a 74 on the scorecard.
“I just felt a lot better going into the round and I knew we needed a good round,” Hazam said. “I was playing pretty well, I had a rough stretch in the first round and I just played more consistently the second time out which helped our team move up a couple spots.”
The team will practice throughout the winter on their own, and will be indoors for the most part unless the weather allows them to get some rounds out on the course in.
“We’ll have team lift all winter and we have the ability to go over to Jumping Brook where our assistant coach Mark Bryson is,” Hazam said. “He has an indoor hitting bay that we can go over to and practice whenever we need to. We can also go over to Twin Brook and hit balls at the driving range under the heaters.”
“If we get decent weather like we had a couple years ago, they have the ability to go over to Deal where we practice and play a lot of our home matches. If they call over there and the course is available, they can go out and play some golf and use the practice facilities,” Shea added.
“Deal Golf and Country Club has been very, very good to our golf team and this year has been better than ever,” Shea continued, noting that the country club allows the team members to practice at the facility during the school week on their own.
The fall slate of the season may not have went the way the Hawks hoped, but there was a lot that they took from it as they prepare for the spring portion of their schedule.
“Every week we’ve gotten a little bit better and like I’ve said in the past, we need to concentrate on keeping the large number off the scorecard,” Shea said. “These guys are capable of making a lot of pars and a lot of birdies but sometimes they have a bad round and that doesn’t help our score. But every guy that’s on this team is capable of shooting low, and that’s what we need.”
The Hawks return to the links for their spring slate in March in a tournament over spring break that has yet to be announced. The MAAC Tournament will take place April 21-23 at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course.
“We prepare in the fall and we prepare in the spring to try and get our game ready to really compete at the conference championship because that’s the key. You win the tournament and then you get a chance to go to NCAA’s and we haven’t been there in a long time and want to get back there,” Shea said.
“I just want to win and get that ring,” Hazam added.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Athletics