The men’s golf team began the season by taking 12th place out of 13 teams at the Trinity Invitational tournament, which took place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9. This was the eighth consecutive year that the Cardinals opened the season at Trinity’s home course, Indian Hill Country Club in Newington, Connecticut.
Atreya Sinha ’17 led the charge for the Cardinals by shooting a squad-best 16-over-par, 160 for the weekend. Sinha started off red-hot, finishing Saturday with a 6-over 78, and closing out the tournament with a solid 10-over 82 on Sunday. His combined score was good enough to rank him 32nd among 77 participants in the tournament.
Also contributing for the RedBirds was first-year student Emmet Daly. Daly’s opening round consisted of a 10-over 82 on Saturday, followed by an 18-over-par, 90-shot performance on Sunday. Nikhil Lai ’15 also pitched in on the course; he shot an 84 on Saturday in addition to a 90 on Sunday, for a combined score of 174, good enough for third-best on the team. Andrew Rachlin ’18 and Paul Andrick ’16 also chipped in for Wesleyan, shooting a combined 178 and 185 respectively.
Colin O’Keeffe ’17 posted the Cardinals’ best individual round on Sunday. He finished the day with a 17-over 89-shot display.
“We had a good showing there,” O’Keeffe said. “We had some low scores. Our two new [first-years,] [Daly] and Rachlin, put up low 80s on the first day, so we were happy to bring in some new talent. [They] both played in high school, so they have some experience. We are proud of how they’ve done the past two tournaments, and they are showing a lot of potential. I think with more consistency they can definitely be contributing factors for the team.”
Trinity took the tournament, with its “A” team pacing the field with 590 total shots. Its “B” team finished second, with a combined score of 616. Wesleyan’s golfers combined to shoot 673 on the day, 20 strokes better than next-best Springfield College. The individual tournament winner was William Burchill of Trinity, finishing the tournament at an even par.
After an encouraging opening weekend, the team headed up to Middlebury to partake in the annual Duke Nelson Invitational. Sinha led the way again for the Cardinals, shooting a combined 176 over the two-day tournament. Opening the tournament with a 90, and finishing Sunday with an 86, Sinha will surely look to continue his hot start to the season in the coming weeks. Also scoring for the Cardinals were Lai, who totaled 180 strokes over the two days, and Rachlin, who finished with 183 shots. Daly finished a close fourth at 184.
O’Keeffe provided some insight as to why the team struggled to get going this past weekend.
“This past weekend, at Middlebury, we had some pretty bad weather, so that made it pretty tough,” he said. “[We] don’t cancel unless there’s lightning, so we played in downpour. That was pretty tough for a lot of the players. The greens were very wet, and it’s tough to hold onto the club sometimes. We fought through it.”
O’Keeffe spoke about how the team might be able to improve in the coming weeks, through the end of the season.
“We have a pretty young team,” he said. “We have some more experienced players in [Sinha] and [Andrick,] who have both been on the team for a couple years. I think mostly just getting the nerves down with some of the newer players, and just relaxing. We play from the championship tees, the tips, which is a little unsettling for people who have never played from them before. Overall, just relaxing and going out there and trying to have fun.”
While the team certainly showed promising signs over the weekend, the Cardinals finished 25th out of 25 teams at the Invitational. The course for the tournament, the Ralph Mhyre Golf Course in Middlebury, is a tough par 70. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) took the top spot in the tournament, shooting a combined 605, followed by Trinity and Rochester. Wesleyan finished with 723 total strokes, 34 shots back of Springfield College, the 24th-place team. James Jackson of RPI won the individual crown, finishing at 6-over for the tournament, including a 2-over-par performance on Sunday.
The team competes again this weekend at the Williams Invitational.