M. Golf finish sixth in Ivy tuneup
M. Golf | Red and Blue finish 16 shots behind first-place Bulldogs at Princeton Invitational
April 15, 2012, 11:37 pm · Updated April 18, 2012, 12:20 am·
Sometimes a tournament is just as much about scoping out the competition as it is about beating it.
That’s the general sentiment on the Penn men’s golf team after it tied for sixth out of 13 teams at the 54-hole Princeton Invitational at Springdale Golf Club over the weekend. The Quakers finished 16 shots behind first-place Yale, which carded an 858.
Penn shot 292 Sunday and finished at 874 overall, 20 shots higher than last year. Although the Quakers had never previously finished lower than third at Princeton, coach Scott Allen is already looking forward to the Ivy Championships, which start next Friday at Galloway, N.J.
All eight Ivy schools took part in the 13-team Invitational, making the tournament a perfect preview of the upcoming Ancient Eight competition.
“Just a blasé kind of event,” Allen said of his team’s performance at Princeton. “We certainly didn’t play [as] well as we were capable of, but I don’t think anybody is disheartened. We’ve got two weeks left before Ivies. We feel confident that on a more demanding golf course like Galloway, we’re going to play a little bit better than some of the guys who were able to get away with things on an easier golf course like Springdale.”
Junior P.J. Fielding agreed.
“There are days you have it and days you don’t,” he said.
In fact, Fielding, who led the Quakers for the tournament with an even-par 213, believes Penn might actually be able to take several positives away from the weekend.
“The ultimate goal is in two weeks at Ivies, and I think we’re on the right track,” Fielding said. “It’s good to know that we didn’t play our best and we’re still only 16 shots back. Finishing sixth and tied with Dartmouth, who right now is the highest-ranked team in the Ivies, is not a bad finish.”
This weekend was a warmup for all the Ivy programs, though, and Springdale’s course being uncharacteristically difficult shows Penn ultimately has greater challenges ahead.
“It’s an advantage for all the Ivies to see hitting shots that land 10 feet short of the green … hitting shots that land 15 feet short and bounce up,” Fielding said. “It’s something you have to get used to, and I think seeing that will definitely help us going forward.”
As a preview for the upcoming Ivy Championships, though, Allen is not displeased with what he learned this weekend.
“Obviously it’s a bit of a preview and we’re not happy with where we finished in relation to the other Ivy schools,” Allen admitted. “This week on Princeton’s home golf course where they’re familiar with the quirks and tricks, they were able to beat us.
“But I feel on a neutral site, we’re a much better team than Princeton.”