September 15, 2003

Golfers Finish Sixth at Invite

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A rain delay with only a few holes remaining Saturday may have hurt the golf team’s chances at an early Fall victory. After an amazing start on Friday afternoon at the annual Bucknell Invitational in Lewisburg, Penn., the golf team continued its strong showing on Saturday with a team score of 312. Despite the Red’s strong second day, it was not able to keep pace with rival schools, but still managed to capture a sixth place finish out of 19 competing teams.

“I was very pleased with the first day,” junior captain Kevin Scelfo remarked after the tournament. “That course is completely different, but we handled it.”

The Cornell golf team faced a course that was much shorter than the Robert Trent Jones golf course, where the team is used to relying on distance off the tee.

The golf team opened with a 294, thanks in large part to sophomore Andy Sliwa’s one-over-par 71. Sliwa’s score, in addition to the 74s of Scelfo and sophomore Andrew Turker, allowed the Red to enter day two of the event in second place, one stroke behind Bucknell.

Sliwa shot a 74, placing him in a tie for for fifth in the individual standing, his best ever collegiate finish. Sliwa’s amazing weekend, however, was not enough to keep the team in the hunt for first place. Host team Bucknell continued its dominance on Saturday with a 291, giving it an overall score of 584 for the tournament and an 11-stroke victory over Lafayette (595).

The rain delay occurred with only a few holes remaining in Saturday’s round. When the team returned to the course, it played with less consistency than it had showed over the previous two days.

“We couldn’t have played worse the last couple of holes,” Scelfo admitted. “But I’m still very pleased with how we stood up against teams that have beaten us in the past.”

Strong Saturday performances by Loyola (305), Robert Morris (299), and Lehigh (306) allowed those schools to climb past Cornell in the final results. While the golf team’s sixth place finish is disappointing considering its quick start, their final team score of 606, 31 strokes lower than last year’s figure at the Bucknell tournament, represents a major improvement.

The Red looks to take this strong performance into next week’s invitational in St. Bonaventure, N.Y. and the following week’s tournament hosted by Cornell. The fall schedule provides an opportunity for the players to fine tune their games before the spring season begins, which brings the much anticipated Ivy League matchups.

“Our team has progressed to a point where we can win,” Scelfo said. “It’s not all about preparation. It’s about playing in tournaments and gaining experience.”

Archived article by Dan Carroll