April 20, 2007

Golf Finishes Season in New Jersey

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The golf team will wrap its season up this weekend in the Ivy League championships. The 54-hole tournament will be held at Galloway National Golf Club, just northwest of Atlantic City, N.J.
The Red is coming off a less -than-stellar performance earlier this month at the Yale Invitational, though its struggles can be attributed primarily to the cold and windy conditions in New Haven. In both the George Washington Invitational and Towson Invitational, its two other tournaments this season, the Red left with impressive seventh place finishes. Head coach Matt Baughan feels that the squad should be somewhat confident heading into the weekend, and that the team’s weak performance at Yale was not indicative of the way the Red has played all spring.
“They’ve played well throughout the season, so it’s just a matter of carrying it on into this weekend and making the most of it,” Baughan said.
[img_assist|nid=23053|title=Look out|desc=The golf team will compete at Galloway National in this weekend’s Ivy League Championships.|link=node|align=left|width=84|height=100]Though Princeton has come away with the last three Ivy titles, it has not been as dominant as in years past. Baughan feels that the three teams playing the best golf this spring have been Yale, Columbia and Penn. Cornell has faced all of these teams so far this year, beating Princeton, holding significant leads over Yale and Columbia, and losing to Penn. The teams are very close to one another, and Baughan feels that any of them can win on any given day.
“I’ve never seen it this close. … There is a lot more parity in the league now. Anybody can win … I’m not going to put a favorite on anybody,” Baughan said.
The Red has relied on juniors Robbie Fritz and Bret Perry, as well as freshman Rob Cronheim this season. Fritz, in a bit of a slump, was an All-Ivy selection two years ago, and has shown he is capable of a high level of play. Perry leads the team in stroke average, and has shown consistency over the past three years. Cronheim, in his first year of collegiate golf, is having a great spring and hitting the ball well, according to Baughan Rance Barber, a senior, and Austin Lord, a junior, will round out Cornell’s top-5 at the championships.
This weekend’s tournament affords the team two opportunities that it has not been accustomed to seeing: playing in great weather and on a world-class golf course.
Fritz is particularly anxious to play on Galloway, which is ranked the 72nd most difficult course in the world.
“This is probably what I’m most excited about — playing Galloway National. It’s supposed to be a very difficult, and a very exclusive, private club,” Fritz said.
He and the rest of the squad will also have an opportunity to win the Ivy League tournament for the time since its conception in 1975. Fritz noted that the team has practiced well in the limited practice it’s had, and is confident about the team’s chances this weekend.
“If we play like we’re used to playing, I like our chances,” he said. “We can definitely win this weekend, if all of us play to our potential.”