Golf Finishes 11th at Turning Stone Invitational

The Colgate golf team began its 2009 season with an 11th place overall team finish at the Turning Stone Invitational, finishing the weekend with a team score of 960. This tournament at Kaluhyat Golf Club in Verona, NY, was won by the University of Missouri (whose total team score was 885), and featured 13 schools.

In the first round, Colgate’s best score was captured by senior Nick Parry, who shot a 76. Close behind him was sophomore Ben Jessen, shooting a 79 to start off the weekend’s competition. The next round was led by sophomore Josh Spellman and junior Neil Thompson, who both shot scores of 78. As a whole, the team compiled a combined score of 324 in their second round, a score only slightly worse than their first round 321.

As the tournament continued, and the team grew more familiar with the course, scores improved significantly. The team’s score for the third round was their lowest for the tournament, 315. Again, Spellman led the team with a 75, finishing his tournament with a total personal score of 234, taking 25th place in the overall standings. Senior David Ake continued to lower his scores throughout the tournament, finishing with a third round score of 78 and a total personal score of 243, which earned him 45th place overall. Tying Ake for 45th place was Parry, whose weekend ended with a third round 79. Thompson and Jessen also finished strong, earning total scores of 250 and 251 respectively.

This was the first year that the Turning Stone Invitational was held and it took place at a course that the Colgate golfers had never seen before.

“On an unfamiliar course, it is difficult to step up to a shot and execute it perfectly” Spellman said of his team’s performance at Turning Stone. “We all struggled with that this weekend.”

Looking ahead to next weekend, the golf team will host the Colgate Invitational at Seven Oaks Golf Course, a notoriously difficult course. The Colgate team, however, is not concerned by the course’s difficulty.

“Now with the first tournament jitters out of our systems, we are looking forward to the Colgate Invitational,” Spellman said. “We all know that we have the potential to win it on our home course.”

For motivation for the coming weekend’s competition, Assistant Coach Keith Tyberski said that the team was prepared to have to “protect their home turf.”