A first place finish in the Cornell Spring South Florida Invitational over Dartmouth and Temple has the men’s golf team feeling confident and optimistic in pursuit of a better finish in the Ivy seemed elusive.
“Golf is a game of confidence so going into future competitions, I think we will have even more of a winning mentality,” said senior captain Brandon Eng. “Now that we’ve actually done it, it is no longer just something that we believe that we can do, but something that we know for a fact that we can do.”
Now that the team have this impressive win under their belt, they are laser focused on keeping the momentum going moving forward.
“This past weekend was the best performance I have seen by our program in the 16 years I have been head coach,” said head coach James Baughan. “I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The most impressive part about the first place finish in Florida was the showing by sophomore Mike Graboyes. The Watchung, N.J., native won medalist honors for the second time this season after beating Temple’s Brandon Matthew’s in a three-hole playoff.
“Now just a sophomore, [Graboyes] has already two individual wins this year,” Eng said. “He can really play and I think he’ll be a key player moving forward.”
Along with Graboyes, Eng noted that freshman Jack Cen has been impressive in his first year at Cornell.
“Cen has been the most surprising just because he is a freshman and he is playing very well despite this being his first year playing collegiate golf,” Eng said. “He is a very steady and consistent player and someone we can count on to play well.”
What has separated this team’s success from last year, according to Eng, is their newly discovered dedication and work ethic that was unparalleled last season.
“I think everyone on the team has been more diligent this year more than any other year with our practice in the off season,” he said. “We need to continue that work ethic and and focus in preparation for the Ivy championship. If we can stay disciplined and continue to put in work on our golf game, I think we have a good chance of winning.”
Going forward, Baughan agreed with Eng that there is still work to be done in order to compete for the Ivy championship.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us to reach our ultimate goal: an Ivy League title,” Baughan said.
Up next is the Princeton Invitational and the team is very optimistic about keeping their energy alive.
“I’m definitely looking forward to taking on Princeton this upcoming weekend,” Eng said. “I know that in our first match in Florida, we surprised Dartmouth. I think that the course we’re competing against Princeton on fits our team very well and I’d like to them a surprise too.”