Raider Golf Team Finally Tees Off

The Raider golf team opened its spring campaign over the weekend with mixed results. The team’s total score of 641 placed Colgate 16th out of 19 teams at the rain-shortened Drew Upton Memorial Classic in Towson, MD. Loyola College shot a combined 595 for an 11-shot victory over Liberty and host Towson.First-year Ricky Hayes had a solid beginning to the spring, shooting 149 to finish in a tie for seventh place, one stroke behind Yale’s Steve Gray, Loyola’s Chris Derby and Princeton’s Brent Herlihy, who formed a three-way tie for first place. In only his first year at Colgate, Hayes has been the Raiders’ top finisher in every tournament this year – fall or spring. He placed second at the season-opening Colgate Invitational at Colgate’s Seven Oaks Golf Course in September and garnered his first collegiate victory at the NBT Bank Collegiate Classic held outside Binghamton in October.Other notable finishers for the Raiders included sophomore James Hlavacek, who shot 160 and placed in a tie for 60th, and junior Sam Higgins, whose score of 165 saw him finish in a tie for 79th. Junior Pat Bauer finished tied for 88th with a score of 167, while sophomore Devin Taylor shot 176 and placed 96th.The Raiders began the spring season knowing that it will be the final season for longtime head coach Brad Houston. Houston will retire after 27 seasons as the Raider head golf coach and 36 years in the Colgate Athletics Department, where his many duties included serving as senior associate athletic director, the first-ever varsity head women’s hockey coach and a three-season stint (1972-1975) as the head men’s hockey coach. Houston, a Toronto, Ontario native, played hockey at the University of New Hampshire in the mid-1960s, and still holds the school’s record for goals scored by a defenseman.Last month, Colgate announced that Houston’s replacement will be Marian Blain, the head golf pro at Colgate’s Seven Oaks Golf Course since 1983 and the first woman to hold such a position in Central New York. Blain, a long-time resident of Hamilton, won the 1992 Central New York PGA Professional of the Year award, and last year was named the CNY PGA Women’s Player of the Year for her work both as golf pro and on the course. She played her collegiate golf at Miami-Dade Junior College and at South Florida University, from which she graduated in 1977. Blain then played on mini-tours in Florida and Ohio, and also made four starts on the LPGA Tour as an amateur.”I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to coach the Colgate golf team,” Blain said in an Athletics Department press release. “It will be exciting to share the experience and knowledge that I have learned over the years as both a former collegiate player and as a PGA professional.””We are excited that someone with Marian’s ability and expertise will be coaching the Colgate golf program beginning with the 2005-06 academic year,” Colgate Athletics Director Dave Roach added. “It is a plus for Colgate golf to have one of CNY’s most respected golf professionals overseeing our program. I look forward to working with Marian in the years ahead.”But all of that is for next fall. For the present, the Raiders return to Patriot League competition this weekend when they participate in the Lafayette Invitational today and tomorrow, followed by a non-league tournament, Monday’s George Washington Invitational at Rehoboth Beach, DE.