Golf Takes Eighth at Bucknell Invitational

Larry Schweitzer

A week after their breakthrough victory in the Colgate Invitational, the Raiders made a trip to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where the Bucknell Bison dominated their own home Invitational. Colgate finished eighth overall in a field of 16 squads, shooting a 63-over-par 903 over 54 holes on the hard, dry, drought-ridden Bucknell Golf Course. Bucknell shot a school record round of 279 for a one-under-par first round. After the first day, the Bison had a 19-stroke lead over Rider and eventually finished nine strokes ahead of second-place Temple.

“It was an interesting week, and I learned a lot,” Head Coach Mac Gifford said about the Invitational. “The course at Bucknell is much different than what we play [in Hamilton] and it favors a certain type of player. We couldn’t practice too much for the course. The greens were so fast that we had some putting woes and our short game could have been better, but I was impressed with how they fought and struggled with the course.”

Once again, senior Ricky Hayes was the Raiders top golfer and finished tied for fifth-place by shooting rounds of 73, 72 and 70 for a five-over 215 for the weekend. First- year Neil Thompson continued his strong golfing by placing 25th overall with a 16-over 226, including a 73 over the first 18 holes. The tournament was Thompson’s first appearance as a member of the Raiders main team. The weekend also marked the debut of sophomore David Ake, who shot a three-round score of 236. Rounding out the Raiders’ squad were junior Montek Mayal and senior Keaton Cross, who shot 230 and 238, respectively.

“[Thompson and Ake] did very well the previous week,” Gifford said about his choice to play the two rookies at Bucknell. “And I went with the two golfers who make us more competitive at this stage of the year.”

Gifford also pointed out that the team is not going to be a static entity.

“We will be trying the find the right crunch-time players who get the ball in the hole, which is something we need to address since at Colgate we spend most of the year inside next to a heater,” Gifford said. “We need to create a mentality of getting the ball in the hole and not worrying about what we can’t do.”

Colgate will play at the John Dallio Memorial at DePaul University next.