Golf Faces Tough Teams at Adidas Hoosier Invitational

Facing some of the toughest competition of all season, the Colgate golf team placed 16 of 16 at the adidas Hoosier Invitational, hosted by No. 6 Indiana, which won the tournament with a score of 13-under 839. The Raiders, who were coming off a seventh-place finish at the George Washington Invitational and a fifth-place finish at the Lafayette invitational, struggled at times on Indiana’s 6813-yard par 71 course.

“The course was not challenging at all, but the greens were a little tricky,” senior captain Keaton Cross said. “They were really small and every green had a pretty significant slope to it. So if you left yourself on the wrong side of the pin on your approach you were facing a difficult chip if you missed the green and often times a tough two-putt as well.”

It is understandable that the Raiders struggled with their short game over the weekend. With Colgate’s home course, Seven Oaks, covered in snow until early April, the team has had to venture 25 miles to Turning Stone twice a week to work on the indoor putting green. Even then, the synthetic surface doesn’t compare to natural grass.

Cross led the Raiders for the weekend with a three-round score of 233. He responded with rounds of 73 and 75 after firing an 85 in his opening round.

“I knew I was swinging it well and that everything was there,” Cross said. “I focused a lot more on my approach shots and leaving my ball in the right places, like below the hole, best side of the fairways, et cetera.”

Junior David Ake improved in each round that he played, eventually shooting a 234, while freshman Ben Jessen and senior Montek Mayal came in with identical scores of 236. Mayal was Colgate’s leader after the first day when he fired two rounds of 76, and all three of Jessen’s rounds were in the 70s. Freshman Chase Williams rounded out the starting five with a score of 244.

The Raiders now turn their attention to the Navy Invitational, their last tournament before the Patriot League Championship on April 25 and 26.

“In order to do well at Navy and more importantly to win Patriot Leagues we decided that we’re going to focus especially hard on our short games in practice over the next two weeks,” Cross said. “When you don’t have the chance to play and practice every day, that’s the first thing to go.”

For the Navy Invitational, the Raiders will be mixing up their lineup, perhaps incorporating sophomore Neil Thompson into the mix as Williams will get a rest to catch up on school work. Regardless, the players plan to go about their preparation as usual.