October 16, 2006

Golf Team Falters at Big 5 Classic

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In its final tournament of the fall season, the golf team failed to continue its recent success, finishing in 13th place among 15 teams at this past weekend’s Big Five Classic hosted by Penn.

The Red had finished in the top half of the field in each of its previous tournaments this season, including a third-place finish in the Cornell Invitational.

The Red was in 11th place after posting a team score of 318, but despite improving by two strokes on Sunday, Cornell was passed by two teams in the field. Columbia golfers Chris Condello and Chris Arkin tied for the best individual totals in the field while helping their school win the tournament by a 13-stroke margin. Their team score of 591 was 43 strokes ahead of the Red.

[img_assist|nid=18937|title=Top dog|desc=Junior Robbie Fritz (pictured) led the Red with a 27th-place finish at the Big Five Class in Philadelphia this weekend.|link=popup|align=left|width=64|height=100]

Junior Robbie Fritz once again scored best for Cornell, shooting 12 over par for the tournament and tying for 27th place individually.
“I expected myself to do well because the course reminds me of my home course,” Fritz said. “I hit the ball pretty well and I played a lot better than I scored.”

Fellow juniors Chad Bernstein, Bret Perry, and Austin Lord also participated for the Red, although none of the three were able to place among the top-40 golfers in the field.

“We didn’t play well as a team,” Perry said. “It would have been nice to end the season on a better note.”

The fifth competitor for the Red was freshman Rob Cronheim, who shot 82 in each round.

“[The fall season] was a learn ing experience for me,” Cronheim said. “My mental game is getting better but I still can improve. I look to play better in the spring.”

While the team was not making excuses for its poor performance this weekend, Perry believes that the difficulty of the course contributed to the team’s high score.

“It was fair, but it was an extremely difficult course,” he said. “It was also hard to play after a week off. We were a little rusty.”

One of the bright spots for the Red this weekend was Lord’s performance yesterday. After shooting 85 Saturday, Lord recovered to post a very respectable 77 yesterday.

“I played more focused and I knew the golf course a little bit better,” he said. “The first day, I couldn’t make any putts and any mistakes I made seemed to be magnified.”

The golf team will not compete in another tournament until the spring. As a result of the climate in Ithaca, Cornell’s golfers do not often have the opportunity to play competitively during the winter, but do have rooms set up to hit balls and fine-tune their swings. The golfers also make sure to stay physically fit.

The team hopes that with hard work, the spring season will be more successful than the fall season was.

“The spring season looks very, very bright,” Lord said.