In a game in which birdies (below par) and eagles (two below par) are ideal, the one thing that shouldn’t be relatively low is the quality of play. Unfortunately for the Cornell golf team last weekend, that is how its performance turned out, according to senior co-captain Alex Lavin.“The tournament was disappointing. We all had high expectations going in, but we performed subpar, and not in the good way,” Lavin said. “I especially played poorly, even though it was my first competition coming off of offseason surgery.”The Red competed against 12 other teams from Division I when it hosted the annual Cornell Invitational, finishing in eighth place after both days of the tournament.At the end of the first day on Saturday, Cornell ranked ninth with a team finish of 34 over par from a two-round total score of 610 (306, 304). Columbia led the day, finishing just two strokes over par at 578, with Binghamton trailing closely behind (579).On Sunday, the Bearcats were able to capture the victory with a 292 in the last round for an 871 overall — seven above par. Cornell was able to stroke 305 in the third round and ended up tying Lafayette’s overall score of 915.Lafayette also boasted the overall best individual scorer, Carter Rufe, who finished six below par with an overall score of 210 (70, 69, 71). On the other hand, the Red’s best player, sophomore Craig Esposito, stroked a total seven above par (after shooting even par at the end of Day One) with an overall 223 (72, 74, 77). This was good for a 19th-place tie in the individual rankings.“We’re still not competing at the level we are capable of — not even close,” Lavin said. “We should be winning these tournaments. The good thing is that we are confident we can.”While confidence is there, one thing the team needs to work on is translating practice into strong play at actual tournaments.“Everyone needs to regroup and focus on putting in some good practice to build up confidence for the next tournament,” said senior John Dean.Cornell’s eighth-place finish comes a week after the team took fifth place of 11 at the Leo Keenan Invitational, held at St. Bonaventure.“Our overall performance at St. Bonaventure was definitely better,” Dean said.A possible factor to the Red’s slight drop in play could be, ironically, that the team was playing at home.“We love this event — it’s great competing at home, especially because we only do it once a year. So naturally everyone wants to tear it up out there. Unfortunately, I think that same mentality put undue pressure on us,” Lavin said. “It’s important to focus on the process, not the result. I think that’s a lesson we’ll take away from this past weekend.”Cornell has some time off before its last two actual tournaments of the fall, and is looking to use the break to change its usual routine.“We have this weekend off from competition, so I’m trying to set up an inter-squad match — maybe like the President’s Cup because it’s coming up,” Lavin said. “It’ll be a nice break from the usual grind.”After that, the Red will compete in the Big Five Invitational in Philadelphia, Pa. on Oct. 8. The team hopes to improve upon its statistics to-date by the time the tournament rolls around during Fall Break.
Original Author: Reena Gilani