Men’s golf found itself both in the top and bottom thirds of tournament placements on the road over spring break, with a first-place finish followed by an eleventh-out-of-thirteen score the next weekend.
The squad began its tour with a first-place finish in Palm Beach Gardens at the BCD Invitational on March 30 behind a strong round by junior Jack Casler, who shot one-under par to lead the field. He was aided by senior Tianyi Cen who ended his round by shooting even par.
The Red’s scorecard was rounded out by junior Mike May’s three over par and a pair of five over par finishes by sophomore Charlie Dubiel and freshman Noah Schwartz.
Cornell escaped Palm Beach Gardens with a one-stroke victory over Ivy League foe Dartmouth. The Red compiled a cumulative score of 295 while the Green carded 296; Brown rounded out the competition with 306 strokes.
“It was certainly nice to win the BCD Invitational, but the purpose of the trip was just to get some reps in and put some pressure on ourselves in a tournament environment before the Princeton Invitational,” Dubiel said after the first tournament.
However, the Red were unable to replicate its prior play last weekend, finishing eleventh out of 13 squads at the Princeton Invitational. The three-round event, played at Springdale Golf Club was dominated by Yale. The Bulldogs shot a cumulative 23 under par and had the top two individual finishers in the tournament. Penn, which finished in second place, aggregated a score of 9-under par, while the Red ended the weekend by shooting 25 over par.
“We made a lot of mental mistakes as a team in the Princeton tournament,” Casler said. “All of us left a lot of shots out there, and I definitely think that we could have easily made a run at a top-five finish collectively.”
Cornell was again led by Casler, who finished the three rounds four over par, tying for 28th place. Dubiel followed closely with a five over par finish. The rest of the Red struggled throughout the weekend, including Cen, who entered the final round at even par, but shot 12 over in his final round to finish him tied for 65th.
“Conditions were different from the first day in terms of wind direction, strength and green speed,” Cen said. “Golf is a tough game not only because of the conditions, but your game changes on a daily basis; the best golfers are the ones best at adapting to the current situations. On Sunday, I was unable to come to a solution and was struggling to hit greens and make putts.”
The Red will look to right the ship this upcoming weekend when the group golfs in its final regular-season tournament of the 2018-19 campaign. Cornell will travel to participate in the Rutherford Intercollegiate Tournament, hosted by Penn State, on Saturday and Sunday.
Cornell will conclude its season the following weekend at the Ivy League Championship. Last season, the Red placed fourth in the competition. Each of the Ancient Eight schools fields a team.
“We are going to tune up in the next couple of weeks and hopefully get a lot mentally sharper because that is what is ultimately going to help us finish higher in the next few weeks,” Casler said. “We all have the ability to compete with a team like Yale for the Ivy League Championship, so it is just a matter of us making the right decisions and being mentally tougher when we are playing those important rounds.”