As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, it is time for some outdoor sports teams to pause play for a while. The golf team wrapped up the fall part of the season with its final tournament last week. The players will use the off-time to reflect on their latest performances and look forward to preparing for the spring, when they hope to come back stronger.Cornell participated in the Big 5 Invitational and the Northeast Intercollegiate Tournament over the past two weekends.At the Big 5 in Philadelphia, Penn. over Fall Break weekend, the Red finished in 15th place of the 22 with a score of 604, although the team was ranked 11th after the first day by shooting 300.“At the Big 5, we were unable to post a good fourth score in both rounds, which led to a poor finish,” said senior John Dean.Cornell looked to rebound when it competed last weekend in Rhode Island, but instead finished second-to-last place out of 15 teams with a combined two-round score of 646. The Red did improve 18 strokes from rounds one to two, though.“Our finishes at the Big 5 and the Northeast Intercollegiate are not how we anticipated ending the fall season. These were competitive tournaments on great golf courses, and we simply didn’t put up the scores we should have. It has been the same story all fall. Especially last weekend, we were beaten flat out by the tough conditions — there are no excuses for that,” said senior co-captain Alex Lavin.That is not to say the team is not capable. Individual players have shown improvement since the start of the season, especially younger players who have posted some of the team’s best scores during tournaments. Sophomore Carl Schimenti took fourth place of 114 players after day one of the Big 5, for example, topping the performances of all Cornell players with an even-par score.“We have certainly progressed, especially the younger guys who have gained some college tournament experience, yet the results don’t accurately reflect our team,” Lavin said. “We’re much better than the scores we’ve posted … The team did well grinding out rounds. It’s tough out there when your game is in pieces, but most of the guys did a good job of competing the best they could on any given day.”Looking forward, the Red will have time off until the spring to work on touching up on some aspects of its play even further.“Offseason practices are more technical, working with video feedback and whatnot. Now is the time to make swing changes because we’re not constantly competing,” Lavin said. “We also start our offseason workouts; yes it’s golf, but the strength and conditioning regimen does help. We also need to keep up the status as best-looking team on campus.”“We will have our usual workout regiment and we are hoping to hit balls indoors earlier than usual to thoroughly shake off any rust and fine-tune our swings before spring trip arrives,” Dean added.Indeed, the spring trip is something the squad is particularly looking forward to this year.“Coach Baughan was able to set up a week in southern Florida playing on some of the best courses in the country,” Lavin said.Spring trip aside, the tournaments in the 2012 part of the season will hold more significance for the Red than did those played in the fall. Cornell will play Ivy teams at every tournament, leading up to the season-culminating Ivy League Championship.
Original Author: Reena Gilani