This past weekend, the Colgate golf team won on its home course, Seven Oaks, at the Colgate Invitational Tournament. Finishing just one stroke ahead of Bucknell, Colgate’s Maroon team (as host, Colgate competed with two groups of five golfers instead of one) won the tournament with a score of 600. Eight teams competed this weekend on the beautiful, but challenging, course as the tournament proved to be a great success for the golfers from Colgate.
In the first round, Colgate’s Maroon team, which was composed of veteran players, was led by sophomore Ben Jessen, who shot a 71. Senior Nick Parry was close behind with a score of 74 to begin the weekend. On the White team, the low score, a 75, was earned by first-year Will Delano. The Maroon team’s combined score for the first round was a 295, putting them in first place ahead of Lafayette by only two strokes. Bucknell and Laval also stayed close to Colgate’s Maroon team, each scoring 300 in the first round.
On Sunday, cloudy skies, wind and intermittent rain added another layer of difficulty to the already tough task set before the golfers. Needing to keep their scores low, despite the less than ideal conditions, in order to maintain their slim lead, the team rose to the occasion.
“They were a lot tougher than [Saturday],” senior captain David Ake said of Sunday’s weather conditions. “You can see that in the scores.”
Unfavorable weather aside, Colgate maintained their lead through the second round. Led by sophomore Josh Spellman who shot a 73, Colgate concluded the tournament with a second round team score of 305. Ending with a total personal score of 148, Spellman tied Jessen for third place (Jessen shot a 77 in his second round). In his final round, Parry shot a 75, giving him eighth place overall and a total of 149 for the weekend. Ake’s 80, combined with his first round score of 75, secured him 21st place.
The White team, composed of less experience players, had a second round gross score of 327 and a 645 for the weekend. Delano continued to play well during the second round, shooting a 78, finishing with a total score of 153 and placing 14th.
“We won. That’s all that matters,” Ake said, reflecting on this weekend. “We did what we had to do,” Spellman added.
Although Brian Bartow of Bucknell University took home first place with a score of 144, the day belonged to Colgate who used their home team advantage to seize victory at Seven Oaks. The team, currently led by Coach Keith Tyberski, who will act as interim head coach for this fall season, improved dramatically from their 11th place finish last weekend at the Turning Stone Invitational.
“We’re going to get better,” Spellman said simply of his team’s potential to improve as the season continues. The golf team’s season will continue this weekend when they will participate in the Bucknell Invitational, facing the second-place team again, this time on Bucknell’s home course.