September 8, 2006

Golf Heads to Colgate

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This weekend, Tiger Woods and his countrymen will prepare for this year’s upcoming Ryder Cup. The golf team may not be representing the nation or playing practice rounds in Dublin, Ireland, but it will be starting another year representing Cornell out on the greens.
Each fall the Red travels to Hamilton, N.Y., to compete in the Colgate Invitational. The tournament will take place tomorrow and Sunday on the Raiders’ home course, Seven Oaks Golf Course. This challenging course is very comparable to Cornell’s own Robert Trent Jones in terms of yardage and layout. These similarities, along with the relatively short road trip, will make Colgate seem like a home tournament. The course conditions are wet so it will play long, and the soft greens will give the Red a better chance to sink those 30-foot birdie putts.
Juniors Robbie Fritz, Bret Perry and Chad Berstien, as well as senior James Barber and freshman Rob Cronheim will make up the top-5 for this weekend’s tournament.
“Robbie is one of the best players in the Ivy League and, along with Bret Perry, he has been the catalyst of our program in recent years,” head coach Matt Baughan said. “This year we have consistency behind those two guys with the addition of Rob Cronheim. Rob is very talented and has all the tools to do well at the collegiate level.”
With the exception of the likes of Carmelo Anthony, freshman athletes are usually characterized by their lack of confidence. However, Cronheim is not a typical rookie.
“This summer I played, on average, about two rounds of tournament golf each week,” he said.
Chronheim also noted that his teammates elevated their games this summer through similar competitions and incessant practice. Heading into tomorrow, preparedness is last thing anyone on this team is worried about.
Barber, a transfer student from Tulane, cracked the starting five for the first time this fall.
“Barber stood out because of his improvement since he arrived from Tulane,” Baughan said. “Tight competition for the top-5 spots will carry over to the event.”
Cornell will have to get by Lehigh this weekend, who is looking to defend its 2005 title. The Red can also expect difficult competition from an always strong Bucknell team. Ricky Hayes, a senior at Colgate, will look to lead his team to victory on home soil.
“The goal for this weekend’s tournament is to play consistent and shoot top to center.” Baughan said. “If everyone plays to their ability we’ll do quite well, but it’s still golf. … This will be fun year.”
“My goal for a tournament is to not shoot a number but to commit to every single shot I hit. The best philosophy in golf is to take it one shot at a time.” Cronheim said.
The Red hopes to put Cronheim’s philosophy into action tomorrow.