October 4, 2011

GOLF | Red Looks Ahead to Big Five Tournament

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After a disappointing performance at the annual Cornell Invitational, placing eighth in a competition against 13 other schools, the golf team looks to turn around its performance as it heads to Philadelphia for the Big 5 Invitational. The tournament will take place at Temple on Saturday and Sunday, and will give the Red an opportunity to show that it is a team to contend with.

“This is one of the biggest fields that we play at, and it’s always very solid competition,” said senior John Dean.

Cornell will be seeing some familiar foes from its home tournament, including Fordham and Binghamton. Binghamton placed second while playing in Ithaca, missing the top rank by just one stroke.

In addition to Binghamton, Cornell has to look out for the other highly competitive teams in its division.

“We’ll be playing against a lot of the Ivy League schools … making it a very important tournament in the fall,” Dean said.

In fact, the Red will be facing six other schools in the Ivy League conference come tee off on Saturday morning. The only school that will be absent from the Big 5 Invite will be Columbia, who took first place at the Cornell Invitational.

All of the other Ivy League schools competing in Philadelphia this weekend, except Brown, have something in common that Cornell does not: Each of these schools was able to play at Yale last weekend in the Macdonald Cup. At this tournament, Yale, Princeton and Dartmouth took spots one, two and three, respectively.

However, the Red feels that having the Macdonald Cup absent from its schedule is not necessarily a disadvantage.

“Everyone was playing and playing hard and working on refocusing,” Dean said of this past weekend. “Hopefully we built up enough confidence as we go into this weekend.”

Indeed, members of the squad are confident that it can do well this weekend if properly focused.

The Red’s results from last year at this tournament are often looked to for comparison as this weekend approaches. In 2010 when Cornell played at the Big 5, it took 18th place of 21 schools, for a cumulative score of 618 after the two rounds of the tournament.

While one of the team’s goals is to obviously improve upon that, Dean noted that it’s hard to compare from last year to this year in terms of tournaments, as a lot has changed about the team.

“There’s an almost completely different composition to the roster,” he said.

Nonetheless, Cornell hopes to score below 618 and come out ranked above some of the other Ivy League schools. The outcome of these attempts will be seen after the Invitational plays out this weekend as the second to last tournament on the Red’s fall schedule.

Original Author: Reena Gilani