April 25, 2003

Five Red Golfers Tee Off at Ivy League Championships

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The big event is here — the men’s golf team will be traveling to Jackson, N.J. this weekend to take part in the annual Ivy League championships. Held at the Metedeconk National Golf Club, this two-day Ancient Eight tournament consists of a total of 54 holes to determine the top individual and team in the Ivy League.

Five members of the golf team will be sent to the tournament to represent Cornell. They are senior Justin Gatwood, sophomore Kevin Scelfo, and freshmen John Patinella, Andy Sliwa, and Andrew Turker. Despite the team’s lack of collegiate experience, coach Matt Baughan remained optimistic.

“I’m excited that we’ve got our young team going,” Baughan said, “I feel like we are in a better position this year than in years past.”

The event has been held at Metedeconk — designed by Cornell’s own Robert Trent Jones — the last four years, so the upperclassmen on all teams know what to expect. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, though; Metedeconk is renowned for its tight fairways and heavy rough, which leave little room to adjust to mistakes.

“It is a demanding golf course, and you don’t expect to make a lot of birdies,” Baughan recalled. “Pars are a good score. If the guys can control the ball off the tee, they won’t get into a whole lot of trouble.”

On top of the tough course, weather conditions look far from perfect. Forecasts from weather.com predict that the golfing weather in Jackson, on a scale of 0-10, will be a 1 tomorrow, and only slightly better on Sunday. This adds another obstacle in Cornell’s path to success, but the team has gotten used to playing in lousy conditions. Spring-time golf is often hindered by foul weather, and after weeks of indoor practice, the team has finally been able to practice outside this week despite the intermittent rain and gusts of wind.

All of the frustrations, successes, and failures of the past few months have been in preparation for tomorrow and Sunday, when the team goes toe-to-toe with its rivals in the battle for Ivy League supremacy.

“We are an extremely young team,” Baughan stated, “We want to be competitive and finish towards the top. Our program has been at the end of the league for a while, and we are now taking steps where the other schools have to look at us as contenders.”

The Red will look to be in serious competition throughout the tournament, and the results of the two-day eight-teem mele