Golf season is upon us.
After a five-month break from competition, Penn men’s golf finally played its spring season opener at the Golden Horseshoe Intercollegiate in Williamsburg, Va.
From March 24-26, the tournament included three rounds and a total of 54 holes. Overall, the Quakers placed 17th among 21 participating teams, while Campbell won the tournament with 863 shots, and Loyola (Md.) came in second.
The Quakers were excited to step back on to the grass. Freshman Mark Haghani and sophomore Brandon Wang led the way in the first round, completing the par-71 course with scores of 74 and 75 shots, respectively. The Red and Blue finished with a team score of 308 on the first day, which saw them tied with Fairleigh Dickinson for 11th place.
On the second day, the Red and Blue had an even stronger showing. Four of the team’s five players played better than they did in the first round. Wang notched an even-par score, which marked the Quakers’ best individual score of the tournament. Senior Zareh Kaloustian also had a good round with a score of two over par. The team finished the round with a score of 301, seven less than the day before.
The last round, however, did not go the way the Quakers wanted. The team struggled under some tough weather conditions.
“We had an early start, and it was basically freezing in the morning. There was a lot more wind, like 20 miles per hour,” Wang said. “It was just a little tougher for all of us.”
As a result of the weather, nobody from Penn was able to score below 80 on the final day. The team finished the round in 327 strokes, totaling a 936 through three rounds of play.
Of the 110 golfers that competed in this event, senior Josh Goldenberg, Kaloustian, Haghani and Wang all placed in the top 80. Wang was the top performer from the Quakers, finishing with 230 shots and tied for 47th in the tournament.
“For me personally, I struck the ball well,” Wang said. “The greens are kind of tough. At certain spots, you had to hit it, so being able to strike the ball well really helped.”
As a team, the Quakers are using this tournament as a warm-up round for the rest of the season. Despite some setbacks in this tournament, the team still likes the direction it is heading in and is looking forward to making some noise in the Ivy League.
“We are excited to start the season," Wang said. "And just the way our team is, we have a really good chance at winning Ivies this year."
Next up for the Red and Blue is the Princeton Invitational on April 6 and 7 at the Springdale Golf Club in New Jersey, where the team will look to improve on its showing from this week.
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