After a long season of anticipation, the Red travelled to Galloway Township, N.J., to compete in the 2011 Ivy League Championship. With three tough days of weather conditions and inopportune tee-off times, Cornell finished the weekend in eighth place.
The team is disappointed with its finish, but many players recognize that it was the first day of the tournament that really set the Red back. The team leaders on day one were senior tri-captains Matt Jaye and Dan Bosse and junior John Dean, all of whom put up a score of 81 — 10 strokes over par.
“It’s just unfortunate between the weather conditions and the time slot we drew for our tee times,” Jaye said.
“Matt Jaye and Dan Bosse both teed-off early in the morning in really rough conditions on a very difficult course,” added head coach Matt Baughan.
Despite the shaky start on day one, the Red recovered and played progressively better over the remaining days. On the second day of the tournament, Cornell shaved 13 strokes off its score from day one. Individually, Bosse and Jaye shot a pair of 78s — finishing four strokes lower than their day one score — catapulting both members of the Red into the individual Top-20.
“We played much better on Saturday,” Baughan said. “Four schools shot the same that we did and we were the third low round.”
The third day of the tournament saw even more progress for the Red. Bosse and Jaye matched scores for a third straight day, each posting a 76 — putting the duo in a tie for 15th place overall in the individual standings.
“We got progressively better each day,” Baughan said. “Matt and Dan played quite well on days two and three. It was just very difficult to overcome our day one performance on such a tough course.”
While the Red did not perform to the best of its potential at the Ivy League championship, the team was able to make some strides with an eye on next season. Dean played well at the tournament, as the only non-senior who participated, Bosse noted.
“John will be a solid player next year and a great mentor for the younger guys,” the senior tri-captain said of his teammate. “[Sophomore Mark] Baity also has a lot of experience and will help the team.”
With five seniors leaving after this year, the Red will have to find a way to fill in the gaps, especially those vacated by Jaye and Bosse, who have played in the one and two spots in the lineup for the past few years.
The team is losing more than just talent with the seniors that are graduating; it is losing prominent leaders. Nonetheless, those who played in the last tournament of their college careers this past weekend have faith in the continued success of the team.
“With the five freshmen on the team, we have some good young talent returning,” Bosse said. “Obviously it hurts losing so many seniors, but freshmen Max [Koehler] and Zack [Bosse] have a lot of tournament experience. With a lot of people returning, I’m sure the team will recover.”
While the future seems promising for Cornell, the graduating members of the squad are sad to leave.
“I think I speak for all the seniors when I say it has been a pleasure playing golf at Cornell,” Jaye said. “It’s something I will always remember and it has been a highlight of my college career. I have to give a shoutout to coach Baughan — we had a blast with him.”
As the seniors leave, the team continues to move forward and prepare for next season. According to many members of the graduating class, it is important to continue working hard on improving over the summer because as this spring season winds down and the summer begins, the fall season is just around the corner.
Baughan declined to provide details about what recruitment looks like for next year, but noted that the rising freshmen show promise. With new golfers coming in, many of the current team members — especially the graduating seniors — recognize the need to pass along the team’s tradition.
“I hope the guys at the bottom of the program can continue the tradition of caring about each other and having fun out there,” Bosse said.
With this season coming to a close it seems like the Red will have to wait until next year to attempt another run at the Ivy League title.
“There is a lot of young talent on this team — the future is bright for the Red,” Jaye said.
Original Author: Ben Schneid