The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Colgate Golf Closes Out Season on a Hopeful High Note

Olivia Hokanson
Fall Finale: Colgate Men’s Golf was able to conclude their fall season with a victory at the Bucknell Invitational.

The Colgate University men’s golf team experienced a bit of everything in their 2023 fall season. Despite placing eighth at the Colgate-hosted Alex Lagowitz Memorial Tournament and seventh at the Temple Invitational in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., a noteworthy win at the final tournament of the year gives the Raiders some momentum into what has hopes to be a successful spring season. With the help of offseason training programs and the utilization of their newly renovated indoor facility, players and coaches hope to translate these late-season heroics into more competitive and consistent tournament play.

Adapting to major coaching changes can often be difficult, but the Raiders revealed their versatility by managing to put together a solid fall season in Head Coach JP Kircher’s first year with the team. Kircher previously coached at Piedmont University, a Division III program located in Demorest, Ga., where he guided the team to three NCAA tournaments and six tournament championships. Kircher’s leadership and success earned him the 2023 Collegiate Conference of the South (CCS) Coach of the Year Award, among others.

Senior Carson Duffy elaborated on how Coach Kircher’s presence has changed the energy within the locker room.

“Coach Kircher has had an immediate impact on our team,” Duffy said. “He’s done a good job of fostering a competitive environment, from which we can push each other to develop as players.”

Kircher sure does seem to be altering team culture, as he was able to keep spirits high even after a fifth-place Colgate Finish at the Autumn Invitational, which took place on Sep. 30 to Oct. 1. The succeeding tournament, the Raiders were able to close the season out with a victory at the Bucknell Invitational at Bucknell Golf Club in Lewisburg, Pa. Duffy spoke on this victory and the tremendous impact it has on team morale heading into the spring season.

“The win at Bucknell was monumental for us as a team. During my time at Colgate, we’ve had a number of close calls as a team, but to close in a tournament and get a win is a big confidence boost,” Duffy said.

Junior Robbie Herzig was an instrumental part of this victory, shooting 71-68-75 for a combined score of 214 (+4) over the two-day tournament. Herzig spoke on how players anticipate this win to positively impact performance in the upcoming season.

“Winning is definitely a tough threshold to cross when there’s 14-20 teams playing in every tournament,” Herzig said. “Now that we’ve done it, we have confidence to go get some more this spring.”

Herzig and the rest of the Raiders aspire to replicate and potentially improve upon their second-place finish at the Patriot League Championship last spring through offseason training and the tactical use of their newly renovated and highly-developed indoor training facility.

“We’re going to do what we can in our indoor facility to get better and take advantage of any times we can go play outside,” Herzig said. “We’re going to take home that Patriot League Championship [this spring].”

The Raiders feel like they have something to prove, hoping to show the rest of the Patriot League that the victory at Bucknell was not a fluke but rather a brief display of what’s to come. Junior Justin Fedele outlined his expectations for the spring season.

“We have our sights set on the Patriot League Championship this year,” Fedele said. “We want some revenge after finishing second last year.”

While the 2023 fall men’s golf season was full of ups and downs, the team’s spirits are not daunted. Players and coaches have high hopes for the upcoming spring season and plan to use the offseason as a chance to improve upon their weaknesses and perfect their strengths. All eyes are on the Raiders to make a run this spring and cement itself as a force within the Patriot League.

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