After beginning the fall season with back-to-back top-three finishes, Cornell golf sputtered down the stretch, finishing in eighth place and seventh place, respectively, in its final two tournaments.
The Red finished tied for seventh out of nine this past Monday and Tuesday in the Hampton Intercollegiate, held at Maidstone Golf Club in East Hampton, New York, scoring a combined total of 943, or 79-over par and good for a tie with Ivy League foe Penn.
Cornell had been led all season by junior Charlie Dubiel, who carded his fourth consecutive top-ten finish at the Hampton Intercollegiate. He ended in fifth place overall at 9-over par.
“I’m disappointed to have not gotten a win this week,” Dubiel said. “Not that there is anything wrong with fifth, but Maidstone is a course that suits my game really well. The combination of the course and tough conditions demands a lot of precision from your long game, which I usually execute very well.”
Senior Jack Casler, who had been just as dominant as Dubiel to begin the season, did not play up to his ability in the Hamptons, ending the three rounds at 28-over par, leaving him in 41st place individually.
The Cornell lineup was rounded out by three freshmen: Benjamin Choe, Josh Lundmark and Samuel King.
Choe finished second on the team at 22-over par, placing him tied for 26th in the field.
Lundmark concluded the two-day event tied for 36th, shooting 24-over par, after carding 80 in each of the three rounds. King closed out the scoring for the Red, finishing at 32-over par. While King struggled, he did improve in each round, shooting 87, 81 and 80.
Sophomore Alex Lin competed in the tournament as an individual. He slightly edged Casler by shooting 25-over par on the 54-holes, but since he was not registered as a team member, his score did not count in Cornell’s cumulative total.
Although the team was not able to live up to the high standards it set for itself after the first two tournaments of the fall, the team is happy with their results, but not satisfied.
The Red believes that its early season success may have actually been to blame for its poor finish to the campaign.
“I’m not really sure if there is a good explanation as to why we sputtered down the stretch,” Dubiel said. “Part of it is just having an inexperienced back end of the lineup with three new guys starting; winning at Colgate kind of set up some big expectations for everyone, which can result in some extra pressure.”
After a successful fall schedule, which included the Red’s first team tournament victory since September 2016, when the team won the Alex Lagowitz Memorial Tournament to open the season at Seven Oaks Golf Course in Hamilton, New York, the Red will turn their attention to the spring portion of the schedule.
“Winning for the first time in a few years is definitely a good feeling, but it does not excuse the way we finished,” Dubiel said. “We will just be looking to make everyone a little better every day. I am not big into setting any big-picture expectations for everyone because that just distracts from the focus, which should be shooting the lowest possible score the next time out.”
The Red will enter 2020 with a legitimate chance to win the Ivy League crown after a disappointing seventh-place finish in 2019.
Although the full spring slate has not yet been released, the team will begin the second half of its season in Hilton Head in mid-February.