- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 19 April 2017
- Written by JOHN SORCE | CO-SENIOR/SPORTS EDITOR
The men’s golf team is coming off their best tournament to date in the spring season, a fourth-place finish in the Peacock Invitational. The 18-hole tournament took place on Tuesday, April 11 at the Par-72, 7069-yard Neshanic Valley Golf Course in Neshanic Valley.
“We’ve had a tough spring so far in terms of weather conditions and every time you go to a tournament, you are looking to improve and that’s what we’ve done,” Head Coach Dennis Shea said. “The weather was more conducive to playing golf and the guys stepped up. We’ve had some more practice sessions which gave the guys a chance to get their game in shape. It was nice to see the six guys that we took up there all break 80 and three of them finished one over par, which was a step in the right direction.”
“It was definitely a good event for us,” senior Tommy Whelan said. “We finally broke 300 as a team, which is something that we are going to have to do down in Florida [at the conference championship]. It was good to build some momentum. We’ve been working really hard and I think some guys are starting to see some of the results they have been looking for.”
It was the first time all season that all six Hawks scored in the 70s and their 299 score was their second best round of the season. The team shot 298 in the first round of the Mathews Auto Collegiate Invitational on Oct. 2. The blue and white were just two points off the pace for second, as Rider carded 297 and Fairfield posted 298. Saint Peter’s won the event with a score of 292.
Monmouth finished the first round at the Lafayette Invitational on Sunday, April 2 in 11th place in the 19 team field with a score of 312. But the team carded 304 in the second round on Monday, April 3 to finish the 36-hole event tied for sixth.
Sophomore Drake Ferriter carded 76 in both rounds leading to a top-25 finish while Whelan, senior Jesse Hazam and junior Kyle Burke all improved on their first round scores by shooting 76 in the second round.
“I think in the first round we made too many mental mistakes,” Shea said. “Our ball-striking tee-to-green is good as anybody out there. But sometimes you make the wrong decision at the wrong time and when that happens, you put up a big number. For the next day, we discussed we were really going to stay focused and make the right decisions at the right time, and we did. We jumped five spots in one day in conditions that were not the best, but the guys really stepped up.”
The team will set off for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship that begins on Friday, April 21. The three-day, 54-hole event will take place at Disney’s Palm Golf Course in Lake Buena Vista, FL.
Both Shea and Whelan are confident going in.
“The ultimate goal is to win your conference championship,” Shea said. “That’s where you want to peak and as the season has progressed, we gotten better with each event. We’re going down there with the idea that we’re going to be competitive, but we need to put our best step forward and play well for three days.”
“I think it really comes down to breaking that 300 number,” Whelan said. “If we play our game and can be consistent, I think we have a very good chance.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics