Young Golf Team Seeks Improvement

The Colgate men’s golf team continued its lackluster play at the Don Mershon Classic, hosted by Lehigh University in Telford, PA last weekend. The Raiders finished 10th out of 15 teams, a slight improvement over their last two tournaments, hosted by St, Bonaventure and Cornell, in which they finished 13th out of 15 teams. Improvement is all one could ask for from a young team that has struggled for most of the season – a team that features only one senior on its roster. The Raiders finished 32 strokes behind tournament winner Siena College. St. Francis College and Rider University tied for the runner-up position with a two round total of 617. At the individual level, the Indian Valley Country Club got the better of the Raider golfers, as no player finished in the top 20. The combination of cold, wind and a crowded golf course discouraged golfers from gaining a comfortable rhythm. Among this group was first-year Ricky Hayes, who failed to reach the upper echelon of golfers for the first time this season. “The course was the best test of golf that we have seen so far, and the weather was very cold and windy,” Hayes said. “Scores were much higher than normal, but I think that we kept our mentality upbeat.” Hayes continued to lead the Raiders with a 23rd place finish, shooting, for him, a robust two-round total of 156. Junior Dave Policano followed Hayes closely in 36th place with a 160. Sophomore Jay Hlavacek placed 47th with a 163, followed by junior Pat Bauer in 54th position with a 165 and junior Sam Higgins in 59th place with a 167. Ricky Allen of St. Francis took medallist honors with an impressive two-round score of 147. The Raider golfers will travel to their last tournament of the fall season this weekend at Binghamton University. The strong Bearcat squad has received back-to-back NCAA tournament berths in the last two years, and has already claimed wins in the Yale Cup and Dartmouth Invitational this season. Look for Binghamton to make a strong showing on its home course. The Raiders will have to improve their play tremendously if they hope to keep pace this weekend. Hayes, who has been suffering from mononucleosis, will have to regain his swing and make an attempt at a return to low numbers. The rest of the Raider squad will need to perform at the level of golf that they are all capable of playing. “I think that the rest of us have started to show signs of life, but collectively haven’t been able to put forth good enough results to make us a very successful team,” Higgins said. “I think we’ll have our best showing of the year at Binghamton.” For the Colgate men’s golf team, it has been somewhat of a disappointing season, but there is more to the season then wins and losses. This season has been a building block for the young Raider squad. All players have gained much-needed experience and have grown into a tight knit team that will be able to compete well in the years to come. For Hayes, “it’s been a fun first season and we are looking forward to the spring.”