This past weekend, Cornell’s golf team played in the Fireline Towson Invitational — its first tournament of the spring season. Sophomore golfer Carl Schimenti led the team, tying for 39th by going nine over par for the three-day tournament. However, overall, the team was disappointed by the results of the tournament, in which it finished 18th in the 22-team field, shooting a combined 48-over par, according to senior co-captain Alex Lavin.
“The general feeling is that the team underperformed,” he said. “We didn’t have great expectations going out of Spring Break, considering this was our first tournament and the conditions weren’t great … but we’d still like to finish in the top half of the field.”
Senior teammate John Dean echoed Lavin’s sentiments. “We really didn’t play up to our expectations going in … but there were certainly some good signs from how we played,” he said. “Some certain pieces of people’s games weren’t quite there, and that resulted in a few [poor shots].”
Dean was second on the team, finishing 15 over par, which tied him for 73rd in the 120-player field. Sophomores Craig Esposito and Zack Bosse tied for 85th, each shooting 17 over par, while sophomore Max Koehler finished in with 22 over par for the tournament, tying for one hundred-fortieth place.
The course could have hurt the team’s results, which was different than what the golfers are used to in Ithaca, according to Dean.
“It’s certainly difficult with the firm conditions that we weren’t used to playing in, which resulted in difficulty in judging short-game shots,” he said. “Schimenti said he had particular difficulty hitting into the firm greens; he’s not used to playing firm greens up here. In upstate New York, the greens are a lot softer because of the weather.”
Despite some issues with the course, Schimenti continues to lead the team and has been giving strong performances on the green lately.
“[Schimenti’s] certainly playing very well,” Dean said. “He’s learning to adjust to firmer conditions in different areas and learning how to play those shots with his ball flight. We should see some really good scores out of him.”
Lavin echoed Dean’s sentiments about Schimenti.
“[He] is very well suited to play in … the kind of courses that we play in the Ivy League and he works very hard,” Lavin said. “I can come see him out there, rain or shine, and if we have snow or the course is closed, he’s looking for the nearest course to practice at and hit some balls.”
Despite the disappointing finish, there were positive signs from this weekend for the team’s next tournament in two weeks, according to Dean.
“There have been a lot of good signs — Esposito finished with a one-over 71 on the third day, which I’m sure is going to boost his confidence going into the [Princeton] tournament,” Dean said. “I feel like everyone has maybe one piece of their game that wasn’t quite there this weekend, so the next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on our missing pieces, to get everything put together to perform well.”
The team will also participate in qualifiers, so coaches and captains can determine the starting five golfers for when the Red travels to the upcoming Princeton Invitational Tournament.
“For each tournament, we can only start five guys and we have a pretty deep team, so the best way to give each guy a shot to play in any given tournament is through a qualifying process,” Lavin explained. “It’s in a tournament format — we go out and play 18 or 36 holes each day. We add up our scores, sign the scorecards, the whole deal, and at the end of that process, head coach [Matt Baughan] will make a decision with the captains on who they think is the best fit [to play] the next weekend.”
Original Author: Albert Liao