April 11, 2008

Golf Analyzes Mistakes on Eve of Invitational

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With three rounds of golf to play before the Ivy League championship, the golf team will look for a strong performance at the 22nd annual Princeton Invitational tomorrow and Sunday. Featuring 15 schools, including Ivy foe Columbia and defending champion St. John’s, this 6,390 yard, par-71 course presents an opportunity for the squad to play an improved, consistent weekend of golf.
After leading a field of 24 though the first day of the Yale Invitational last weekend, the Red faltered on day two and finished tied for eighth, nine strokes behind the eventual victor, Harvard. The week before that witnessed a below expectations performance at the Towson Lacrosse Homes Collegiate Invitational as the Red failed to close out the final five holes in the second round.[img_assist|nid=29737|title=Golf shots, nothing but golf shots|desc=The golf team hopes that the warmer weather will allow them to get more practice time in and work out the kinks in their individual games.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Now, however, the spring weather has breathed new life into the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course and the rust of winter is beginning to wear off.
“The course reopened at the beginning of the week, a little earlier than normal, and it definitely has been helpful,” said senior Robbie Fritz.
Each person is able to work on weak aspects of their game now. I focused on my short game and putting today.”
For senior Chad Bernstein, the opening of Jones Golf Course allows him, “to practice keeping my ball flight down. In the spring it’s more difficult because of the wind, but the course is playing great right now. It’s tough to practice in the snow, so we’re happy to be out there [in good weather].”
Many attributed the club’s weak performance over the previous two weekends to a simple lack of playing time, rather than inconsistency. Warm weather schools had been able to play three or four tournaments by the time the Red finally hit the links in the spring season.
However, sophomore Robert Cornheim countered the argument that a lack of playing time is to blame for the team’s shaky results. “You can only blame so much on the rust. Neither tournament we played particularly well. Fortunately with the golf course open, some guys are able to spend the majority of their free time out there now. Hopefully that will translate into better scores at Princeton.”
“I heard a lot of the guys made some mistakes they typically don’t make at Yale.” Bernstein said.
Looking ahead to this weekend and beyond, the team realizes that in the context of the season, the Princeton Invitational will certainly be an important event. Just one week after Princeton is the Ivy League championship, the hallmark event of the season.
“We’re feeling more confident day-by-day. The Ivy championship is the most important, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t win,” Fritz said. “UPenn and Delaware [invitationals] had stronger fields, which we won. Harvard won at Yale, but we know if we all play well, we’ll be in good shape.”
“This week is a good week to assess everything Cronheim said. All the guys are playing decently, and this week we’re going to come out and play well, but we need to peak next weekend to win the Ivy.”
Although the forecast calls for rain, the Princeton Invitational will certainly be highly competitive, and the Red is poised for a top-three finish.
Cornell tees off at 9:10 a.m. against Rutgers and George Washington tomorrow.