The Colgate men’s golf team made the trip to Ithaca to compete in the annual Cornell Invitational on September 16 with high hopes. The team previously set a 54-hole scoring record at the Doc Gimmler hosted by St. John’s University last weekend when they shot a combined total of 281 for round two.
Following their impressive performance as a unit, coach Keith Tyburski decided to bring the same players to this week’s competition. An indication of future success for Tyburski is that through the early portion of the season his freshman class has stepped up to the challenge and excelled; the first-year class has been led by Ryan Skae who has started off his Raider career with a T5 and a T7 finish in his first two events.
Skae looked forward to giving a solid performance at the Cornell Invitational.
“I’ve been striking the ball great and just wanted to keep the momentum going this weekend,” Skae said.
At Cornell, the team joined a field of 14 teams at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, a challenging layout that played even tougher with subpar conditions. After the first round on Saturday morning, it was first-year Quinn McGinely who stole the spotlight; he fired a season-low 69 and grabbed the 18-hole lead. McGinely, who competed as part of the five-man team last week, played as an individual at Cornell.
McGinely commented on the course conditions on day one.
“This year Ithaca struggled with a drought so the course was pretty dry, but the greens were good. On the weather side of things, the first day it was raining and windy, while on the second day, when forecasts showed rain, it turned out to be sunny and humid,” McGinely said.
He struggled to back up his blistering first round and finished up Saturday’s 36-hole marathon at 151, good enough for T22. Fellow first-year Ryan Skae picked up the slack in Saturday’s afternoon round as he fired a Colgate record-setting 67 (-4) to take the 36-hole lead by four strokes. As the first-year class continued their fine start to the season, senior Ryan Allison resumed his consistent success at Cornell as well. Allison finished off Saturday with a pair of 72’s which left him at T5 (+2) at the 36-hole intermission.
Ending the day as a leader and having to sleep with the pressure is a challenging task for any golfer, but Skae was confident and thrived as the pressure grew. Sitting at 5-under par to start his last round, Skae knew there was still unfinished business. Skae explained his mental state following the round.
“Being completely honest, I wasn’t thinking about the individual leaderboard. I wanted a team win so I didn’t put much pressure on myself,” Skae said.
Skae has been reaching for the top of the leaderboard throughout the early part of the season, and with his final round 70 (-1) he solidified his position on top. Skae finished with a three round total of 207 (-6) and took home Colgate golf’s first away trophy since 2011. The Raiders will look to follow up their solid performance at Cornell this week at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge hosted by Dartmouth College next weekend on the road in New Hampshire.