Junior Samuel King earned men’s golf first place in the Battle at Rum Pointe over the weekend. The tournament ran Saturday to Sunday at the Scottish-styled Rum Pointe Seaside Links in Berlin, Maryland, and featured a pool of 120 golfers from 22 different schools. King’s efforts guided the Red to a sixth place team finish.
King was the only Cornell golfer to finish in the top 25. He finished four under par, shooting a 67 the first day and a 73 the next for a total score of 140. Jordan Brajcich of Rhode Island tied King for first, also shooting 140. Brajcich shot a 69 on day one and a 71 on day two and finished four under par. Jason Lohwater of Bucknell took third place with a 141.
Cornell shot 594 as a team with balanced results in each round. The team finished the first day with a 298 and a 296 on the second. Senior Gus Lascola shot a 150 total, good enough to tie for 27th. Junior Martin Gutierrez tied for 43rd with a total of 152.
Despite all, King’s victory is an impressive feat and a well-earned accolade for a golfer who has been red hot.
“It was awesome”, said King of his first individual win of the season. “I had a few good finishes in the fall but never put myself in position to win an event as an individual, so to come through the first time I was really in contention, especially in such a large event, was pretty cool.”
King placed fourth in Colgate’s Carpetbagger Classic earlier in the month, as well as in the Matthews Auto Intercollegiate back in October during the first half of the season.
The odds were certainly stacked against the Red going into the weekend. The tournament was one of the team’s furthest destinations of the season, conditions were less than ideal and it was the largest tournament of the season. These factors make King’s victory all the more impressive.
When asked if he even knew whether he was in the lead or not, he said there was no live scoring available to tell for sure, but had a good idea of where he stood. “Most events we play have live scoring that you can look at online, but this weekend we didn’t so I didn’t know for sure I was leading until the end of the first round when scores were posted,” King said.
King talked about his strategy after wrapping up the opening round in first place. “Going into the second round with a two shot lead, my goal was to shoot something around par and make the players chasing me have to play well in hard conditions to catch me.”
This is exactly what he did, golfing one over par for the entire second day. Only a strong second round from Brajcich kept King from keeping the medalist honors to himself.
King looked cool, calm and collected all weekend, but when asked if he felt the pressure of leading 120 golfers, he claimed that he did feel some pressure in between the rounds that made him pause up a bit.
“My teammates were a huge help in between rounds because they helped keep my mind off any pressure. We just treated it like any normal day”, King continued.
When King stepped into the tee box, however, it was simply doing what he’s done all of his life.
“I looked at the final round just like every other college round,” he said. “My job is to shoot the best score I can to help the team win.”
King insists that while he is happy to have made such an individual accomplishment, he will not be resting on his laurels.
“Winning. That’s the goal every time I go out there, to be the best and help the team win. I definitely hope I can earn a few more medalist honors before I’m done, but the real end goal is to win the first team Ivy League championship for the school,” King said.
Golf ends its regular season next week at Princeton. The invitational will run from Friday, April 8th to Saturday, April 9th.