Cornell golf took home its first victory since September 2016 over the weekend, coming in first in the 16-team Alex Lagowitz Memorial Invitational at Colgate with a score of 880.
The tournament was the team’s first of the fall season and also the Red’s first tournament victory outside of Ithaca since 2007.
Junior Charlie Dubiel led the scoring for Cornell, finishing the weekend at even par. He ended the tournament as the fourth-best scorer out of 96 participating golfers.
Dubiel was closely followed by senior Jack Casler, who shot two strokes over par in the 54 holes on Saturday and Sunday.
“I think we had a great strategy for the course this weekend and stuck to it,” Casler said. “This season we’re focused on playing smarter and staying mentally sharp. That focus was really important this weekend.”
Although the Red ended up winning the tournament, the final round on Sunday was less than ideal. Dubiel carded a four-over par Sunday, while Casler concluded the tournament with a three-over par round.
“This win was really exciting for us,” Casler said. “The field was pretty strong this year and we beat some solid teams.”
Bucknell came in second, three strokes behind the Red with a final tally of 883. Seton Hall and Yale rounded out the top four.
“This win was the first time that I have been part of a team victory and I loved every second of it,” said Casler. “Coming back home with the trophy was a great feeling. That being said, our round on Sunday was far from perfect and we still have some work to do if we want to stay at the top of leaderboards.”
The experienced duo was aided by their strong play on par-3 holes. Casler led the tournament in the category, scoring even par on the par-3’s. Dubiel similarly dominated these holes, ending his weekend at one-over par in the category.
The rest of the Cornell lineup was filled by sophomore Gus Lascola and three players making first-time starts. Lascola and freshman Ben Choe ended the weekend tied for 45th, while freshmen Josh Lundmark and Sam King finished 59th and 72nd, respectively.
“Even though our team is younger, everyone has a lot of competitive experience and that helped us get off to a great start on Saturday,” Casler said.
Though four of Cornell’s six golfers in the tournament were underclassmen, the importance of this first win in three years was not lost on them.
“It’s really exciting to win the first event of the season,” Lascola said. “We have had a lot of really good players over the last few years, but this year might have the most depth. As a result, even if one player has a bad round, you can count on the other four still scoring and I think that the team was lacking that reliability in years past. For me, personally, it’s a huge confidence boost.”
The Red will follow up this first tournament of the season Sept. 14 and 15 when it hosts the Cornell Invitational at Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Last year, the Red placed 10th out of 15 teams at the tournament, which is the only home event of the school year for Cornell.
“We are going to approach this weekend like any other event,” Dubiel said. “Sure, we may know the golf course better than our competition, but I do not know how much of a difference that really makes. Just like last week, we are going to put a lot of emphasis on playing smart and playing to the right spot. Boring golf is usually good golf.”