April 20, 2004

Golfers Finish Sixth at League Championship

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Junior golfer Kevin Scelfo finished second overall, and the Red finished sixth — only a few strokes out of fourth place — at Cornell’s best showing at the Ivy League Championships in over a decade.

“We’ve kind of been laughed at [in the past],” Scelfo said, noting the team’s historically poor year-end performances. “But we put up a lot of good scores and our program is starting to grow.”

Princeton won the tournament, and the Tiger’s Jason Gerken was the low individual scorer with a 78-75-72-225.

Scelfo carded a 76-78-76-230, and tied two others for second place. With his runner-up finish, the Long Island native became the first Cornell golfer to earn an All-Ivy selection since 1988. The top seven finishers at the tournament are automatically given the honor.

The par-72 Metedeconk National Golf Course in New Jersey is always a very challenging course to play. But, according to senior Chris Rogalski, the course was made even more difficult by a “nightmare” greens setup.

“I have no idea what the greenskeepers were smoking,” Rogalski said. “The coaches were upset. The players were irate.”

“The pin cuts were in ridiculous spots,” Scelfo said, noting that he would have shot lower in the first round had the pin placement been fair.

Facing the questionable setup, sophomore Andy Sliwa opened the tourney with a 9-over-par 81. Sophomore Andrew Turker opened with an 86. But both golfers then managed rounds in the high seventies, and their low scores helped Cornell finish just one stroke back of Harvard. The golfers finished 11 strokes behind fourth-place Yale.

Perhaps most important for the Cornell program, the golfers ended the tournament in the middle of the Ivy pack. The Red was in contention for the entire weekend, and Rogalski believes the team’s respectable placing should help the Red gain recognition in the conference.

“We completely destroyed Brown and Dartmouth,” he said. “We could have done better, but we’re happy with our finish.”

Rogalski thinks the future is bright for Cornell, especially with head coach Matt Baughan leading the golfers.

“He has really done a lot for the program,” Rogalski said. “We’ve gone from being one of the worst teams, to being in the middle of our conference. Next year I wouldn’t be surprised if we won the Ivy Championships. He’s done a great job.”

Scelfo will look to continue his success next year.

“He’s the man to beat,” Rogalski noted.

Looking back on his career, Rogalski said that he is happy to have helped “raise the bar” for the team.

“It was an honor for me to play with such gentleman and ambassadors of the sport,” he said.

Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer