After the golf team’s eighth place finish at the Cornell Invitational, sophomore Robbie Fritz was not pleased about his team’s performance.
“I don’t think we could’ve played worse,” he said.
This past weekend, the team bounced back, placing fourth at the Keenan Invitational hosted by St. Bonaventure.
The tournament was a close one, as a playoff between St. Bonaventure and Drexel was needed to determine the event’s winner. Niagara finished in third place in the 15-team field, while the Red was close behind in fourth.
Fritz led the Red with a 10th place finish, which was his fourth consecutive top-20 finish. “I’ve been very consistent this year,” he said.
The first round, which was played on Sunday, saw some bright spots for the Red, as it was locked in a tie for third place. Fritz and sophomore Chad Bernstein both shot 3-over par, which left them in 14th place for the individual competition. Sophomore Bret Perry was only one stroke behind his teammates in 23rd place, while junior Greg Peterson was in 31st place after shooting a 5-over 75. It was the first round of the season for the Red in which its top-4 scores were 75 or under.
Yesterday, the Red played the final round of the event and saw its combined team score improve, but unfortunately for the team, it fell in the team standings from third to fourth place. This fact was something that did not bother Fritz much.
“I was happy with the team’s performance. Everyone maintained focus and no one blew up,” he said.
The second round included a trio of Cornell players who shot 73 and a pair who knocked in 74. The three golfers leading the way in the second round were Fritz, Perry, and senior Andy Sliwa. Peterson and Bernstein were both just one stroke behind their teammates.
“All and all it was a positive. Everyone showed up to play. It was a very consistent tournament,” said Cornell head coach Matt Baughan.
One of the biggest positives for the Red at St. Bonaventure, according to Fritz, was the play of Bernstein. He had been on the “B” team for Cornell in the last tournament and played so well for the “B” team that Baughan moved him back up to the traveling “A” squad.
“I have always felt that Chad has the most talent of any player on the team. When he focuses he can shoot the numbers to win a tournament,” Fritz said.
Bernstein finished the tournament in 22nd place, which was the second best score for the Red. “Pressure and golf don’t go hand in hand,” Baughan said. “When Chad plays well, it takes that pressure off the rest of the team. Everyone was asking me, ‘How’s Chad doing? How’s Chad doing?’ They were all rooting for him and when they heard he was playing well, it helped them to play well too.”
The fourth place finish left the Red ahead of sixth place Bucknell and seventh place Rider who had both outplayed the Red the previous weekend at the Cornell Invitational.
“We finally played like a team. Rider and Bucknell are teams that can win tournaments and this weekend we proved that we can beat them. One of these days we’ll put it all together and win one,” Fritz said.
Archived article by Lance Polivy