In its final tune-up before next weekend’s Ivy League championships, the Penn men’s golf team couldn’t handle the weather or top competition.
In the strong 12-team field at the 36-hole Wolfpack Spring Open — which featured several top Division I programs, including No. 23 host North Carolina State — the Quakers finished 11th.
They struggled with the elements in the first round, which were tornado-like conditions, and ultimately carded a 315-298—613. The winner, Richmond, finished 31 shots ahead.
Freshman Max Marsico led the Quakers and tied for 27th overall with a 79-73—152.
Not far behind were sophomore P.J. Fielding and junior Dillon Hakes, who both scored a 153.
Fielding attributed the lower scores of the second round to the rain they had in the first round.
“On Saturday, the course was very firm, and it was hard to keep the ball on the green,” Fielding said. “But on Sunday, the course was wetter and easier.”
Despite the Quakers’ struggles, coach Scott Allen is still optimistic about next weekend.
“I still feel like we are the best team in the league,” Allen said. “I feel like Yale is going to be strong, [and] Columbia has had a lot of success in previous years, but I feel like we are better than they are.”
Fielding offered the same sentiment.
“Our expectations are still high,” Fielding said. “We’re still looking to win.”
The Red and Blue were the only Ancient Eight team who participated in the Wolfpack Spring Open.
Allen thinks this gave Penn a bit of an advantage heading into the league championships.
“I know the other Ivy League teams didn’t face the same competition as us,” Allen said. “And they definitely didn’t get a similar challenge in terms of the golf course being comparable to the one that we will be playing this weekend.”
Allen and Fielding are both looking forward to taking advantage of those challenges for a successful championship weekend.