April 24, 2006

Golf Places Last In Ivy Title Match

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Expectations create nervous excitement, while unfulfilled expectations leave one with that sinking feeling in the stomach.

The golf team entered the weekend with the former and left with the latter after a disappointing eighth place finish at the Ivy championships in Vernon, N.J.

Ironically, despite the closest finish in seven years in the tournament, perennial Ivy golf powerhouse Princeton took the title for the sixth time in seven years with total of 895 (+31), edging out Columbia by one stroke. For the Tigers, the win was payback since Columbia had beaten them at their own tournament only a few weeks earlier.

Falling in behind Columbia was Brown with a score of 917 (+53). The Bears were carried by sophomore Larry Haertel, who posted scores of 74 and 70 on Saturday before throwing up a tournament low 68 on Sunday to finish at -4, giving him the individual title. This was not the first time Haertel had burned the field, not to mention the Red, having lit up the course at the Towson Invitational for an equally impressive 68.

While the top-7 teams finished within 45 strokes of one another, the smallest spread in the field since 1999, Cornell never seemed to get going. The Red finished at 960 (+96), 20 stokes behind seventh place Harvard, ending its season with disappointment and heartbreak.

The Crimson, as well as most all of the teams the Red finished behind, are teams Cornell has taken down in various tournaments throughout the year – a disapointing aspect of the weekend for the team.

What was more frustrating for the golfers, however, was the weather. The match was reminiscent of the disappointing Yale Invitational where the Red’s short game and putting were thrown off by rain and wind. In that match, many players expressed their frustrations at the uselessness of all their hard work in practice when their game plans were consistently thrown off by bad weather and inconsistent greens.

Pacing the Red was sophomore Bret Perry, whose proven consistency throughout the year did not fail him, as he battled though the chilly rain and wind to post scores of 79, 79, and 77 (+19).

However, the usually unflappable sophomore Robbie Fritz, who also has been a model of consistency this season, was never able to find his groove. Fritz shot an 81 and an 84 on Saturday, before finishing with a third round 82 to put him in 37th place overall and make him Cornell’s fourth-best finisher.

Seven of the 10 rounds the Red shot on Saturday yielded scores of 80 or more, and Cornell flopped out of the gate Saturday to quickly sink into last place. The Red was never able to fight its way up the standings despite nearly every player on the Red shooting a better score on Sunday. The most notable improvements came from senior Andrew Turker, who shot an 85 before bringing his score down to 78 and 77 over his last 36 holes, putting him two shots behind Perry at 23rd overall – the Red’s second-best finisher.

Fellow senior Andy Sliwa dropped his score four stokes every 18 holes he played, hitting scores of 86, 82 and 78, to place him 36th overall.

Junior Greg Peterson (82-82-83-248) rounded out the field for Cornell with a 38th place finish, shotting 83, 82 and 83 for total score of 247.

Archived article by Cory Bennett
Sun Staff Writer