April 11, 2006

Golf Finishes Ninth at Yale Opener

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The Cornell men’s golf team expected the dreary weather. A dreary quality of play, however, came as a surprise. After Saturday’s first round was washed out at the Yale Invitational, the Red fought their way to a 9th place finish on Sunday.

The Red sloshed their way through eighteen holes, shooting a team total of 318, 16 shots off eventual winner Oklahoma Christian University’s score of 302. After coming in with expectations of winning the field, the team left New Haven, Conn., very disappointed.

“It was just a painful experience,” said senior co-captain Andy Sliwa. “It was pretty much a wasted weekend. With the tournament only being one round, it wasn’t even worthwhile.”

“It was really some of the worst conditions I’ve ever seen,” said junior Greg Peterson. “Saturday was ridiculous before it was called off. There was even snow coming down.”

While Sliwa accurately contested that it is hard to draw conclusions from just one round of golf, the fact remains that the team’s year-long Achilles heel flared up once again.

“We all struggled with our putting,” Sliwa said. “I didn’t shoot well either. I only hit three greens in regulation. You aren’t going to shoot well when you only hit three greens.”

Peterson pointed out, though, that with the weather the way it was, much of the putting and short game came down to chance.

“I feel like I played well for the most part, and I feel like I’m close,” said Peterson. “It was just stupid mistakes on a couple of holes for everyone. The conditions were so unfavorable that much of those mistakes, and putting especially, came down to luck.”

Another reason the Red was looking forward to last weekend’s tournament was the chance to see and beat some Ivy foes, according to head coach Matt Baughn. Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth and Yale all competed, but the Red finished in the middle of the pack, ahead of only Harvard and Brown. Dartmouth, a team in the midst of a changing of the guards coaching wise, shot a surprising 305 to finish 2nd overall. The host Bulldogs placed 8th while Harvard and Brown all fell below the Red on the totem pole.

“Dartmouth played pretty well,” said Sliwa. “At least we beat Harvard. Honestly, though, when the tournament was over, I tried not to even look at the scoreboard.”

With the upcoming week off, the team will look forward to relaxing in Ithaca’s version of Spring and sunshine.

“Today [yesterday] we just went out and played nine holes and had fun,” Peterson said. “I even got a couple of my fraternity brothers out there and played some two on two with [sophomore Robbie] Fritz.”

“We’re just looking forward to nice weather and excited to stay home for a week,” Sliwa added.

Archived article by Cory Bennett
Sun Staff Writer