After struggling to put a team together last season, the Cardinal golfers have added to their numbers and are on the rise. The squad placed 18 out of 20 at the Williams invitational last weekend, the same finish they had last year but with a vastly improved score, shooting 671 as opposed to last year’s tally of 708. NESCAC rivals Trinity (601) and Williams (605) were the top two finishers.
Once again, leading the pack this year is Atreya Sinha ’17, who had a team-best score of 80-77-157 at Williams.
“[The meet] definitely could have gone better,” Sinha said. “The first day was tough. We were playing in a lot of rain, and we didn’t think we’d get on the course the second day, but the weather ended up turning out great. The other teams we’re playing have definitely improved a lot, but we are also moving in that direction.”
Emmet Daly ’18 also had a solid performance, shooting 85-82-167 and topping his 95-95-190 score from the same event last year.
“Shout outs to Emmet,” Sinha added. “He has great fundamentals, but he struggled with his mental game during his first year. He worked really hard this summer, and came back with a great score.”
Other returning players include Captain Paul Andrick ’16 (87-88-175), as well as Andrew Rachlin ’18 (91-90-181) and Colin O’Keeffe ’17 (86-86-172). The golfers will also be looking for contributions from some new faces this year.
“I am confident that the addition of Brian Gerner ’18 and [transfer student] Zach Lambros ’17 will be huge for us this year,” O’Keeffe said. “They are both strong players.”
Likewise, Sinha also expressed excitement for his new teammates.
“We didn’t take our first team up last week, but we’re putting together a full squad for this weekend which includes our great new transfers,” Sinha said. “It should be an interesting lineup for the tournament.”
The Cards placed in the bottom category at most of the tournaments they entered last season, but a collective improvement upon last year’s score at Williams seems to bode well for the impending competition.
“Our next few tournaments are all preparation for the NESCAC qualifier match coming up next month at Williams,” O’Keeffe said. “We are very lucky to have already gotten some experience playing the course in our first tournament this season.”
Despite being the number-one man on his team for the past two years, Sinha is still looking to improve upon his game by setting personal goals for his individual growth.
“I really want to reduce my score average,” Sinha said. “I’m in the high 70s now, but I’d like to shoot around 72 or 73 by the end of the year. It’s all about trying to get rid of that one bad hole that screws you up.”
During their short season, golf will be traveling to other colleges, some even smaller than the University. While they hosted the Little Three meet last year, Sinha expressed his disappointment on Cardinals’ lack of a regular home invitational.
“We have a beautiful course right down the road at Lyman Orchards, and other smaller schools are hosting meets over us,” Sinha said. “It’s disappointing that Wesleyan doesn’t have their own yet.”
This weekend, the team looks to make an impact at the Duke Nelson Classic in Middlebury, bringing a fresh squad of faces old and new. With a revised practice schedule and an improved roster, the Cards are certainly looking rejuvenated for this upcoming championship season.