In their last fall tournament before Ivy play begins, the Quakers were held back in rain and shine.
Penn men’s golf competed against 16 other teams through 54 holes at Philmont Country Club in the Temple Invitational. The Red and Blue finished the weekend with a score of 589, placing eighth out of 17 teams.
Of the six Ivy teams at the Temple Invitational, Penn was second only to Harvard, trailing the Crimson by seven strokes.
Senior Ben Cooley was the top scorer for Penn, finishing in an eight-way tie for 16th overall with a score of 146. Cooley was tied for eighth after Saturday, shooting one over par, before fading on Sunday.
The eighth-place finish for Penn is an improvement over last year’s 16th-place finish at the Big 5 Invitational on the same course. Despite this higher finish, the Quakers are still not reaching their full potential.
“Historically our number one player, Max Marsico, has been down with an aggravated rib injury,” coach Bob Heintz said. “We’ve been relatively solid in the one through four spots but … I think if Max were here, we’d be in excellent shape.”
Without help from their star player Marsico, the Red and Blue have come up just short of their goals.
“We wanted to try and break 290 each day, which would have been even par for four scorers,” Heintz said of the par-70 course.
The Quakers shot 291 on Saturday in the rain. Despite the clearer weather, the Red and Blue were unable to pick up their game, finishing Sunday with a score of 298.
“We were trying to be less than 10 over par each day as a team. So we didn’t quite pull that off,” Heintz said. “Our goal for [Sunday] was to just play cleaner and make less mistakes, and we just didn’t do that. They played OK, but nobody quite got the job done as far as shooting a low score to help us out.”
While Penn has struggled to reach its goals, the performance of the freshman class is encouraging.
“I would call our freshmen a pretty bright spot at the moment,” Heintz said. “Dane Walton has been excellent so far. Matt Kern, though he is not personally happy with his play today, is coming along with solid scoring.”
But the Quakers as a whole have been weak at the finish, struggling on the greens while excelling in the long game.
“We just are not tough enough with our short game on the greens. We give away too many pars and turn pars into bogeys too often,” Heintz said.
“As a team we need to have an eye of the tiger,” junior Austin Powell agreed. “Really just go in and shake your opponent’s hand on the first tee, but in your mind just know that ‘I’m going bury you.’”
Next weekend Penn will take on its Ivy League foes at Bedminster, N.J., in the final tournament of the fall season.
“We’re talented enough to really scare some people, even though we won’t be necessarily one of the favorites based on the rankings,” Heintz said.Comments powered by Disqus
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