“The Bears were who we thought they were!” former Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Denny Green screamed after his team lost 24-23 to Chicago on Monday Night Football last year. Likewise, Patriot League teams realized that Colgate Golf was what they thought it was this season, which was a fifth place Patriot League team. The Raiders were picked to finish fifth before the season and ended up in that position when the Patriot League Championships at the Bucknell University Golf Course were all said and done. In fact, the preseason poll was surprisingly accurate, correctly placing each team in its final position with the exception of Army and Navy.
Bucknell won with a three-round total of 883 strokes, which was 43 over par. Navy finished three strokes behind for the second place finish, followed by Army and Lehigh. Colgate finished at +68. Holy Cross and Lafayette were five strokes behind the Raiders and tied for last place.
For the first time this spring season, junior Ricky Hayes was not Colgate’s top finisher. Sophomore Keaton Cross took top honors for Colgate last weekend by shooting +16 over three rounds, which put him at 12th place in the field of 42. Hayes tied with sophomore Montek Mayal at 16th overall, with a score of 227. Senior captain Sam Gerston, first year Matt Salmon and junior Joe Vogler rounded out the field for Colgate, with 34th, 37th, and 40th place finishes respectively.
The Raiders used strong finishes from Cross, Hayes and Mayal to propel them out of last place in the tournament. Going into that last round, the Raiders were three strokes behind both Holy Cross and Lafayette, but Colgate posted the final round of 297 to leapfrog both schools.
Colgate has a lot to look forward to next season. While the loss of Gerston will be tough to endure, Hayes, Cross and Mayal will return next year to form a strong trio of golfers. Look for Colgate to improve on its fifth place finish next season.