If the UR golf team was looking for a breezy walk in the park to open their fall season, they arrived at the wrong competition this past weekend. On Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday, Sept. 9, the Yellowjackets were pitted against the St. John Fisher College Cardinals — one of the top-ranked golf programs in the nation — and a slew of regional and local rivals who sought to dethrone a highly-touted UR squad.
Like the Cardinals, the yellow and blue has garnered a fair amount of attention recently — a coaches’ poll named them just shy of the country’s top 25. Unfortunately, unlike host St. John Fisher, the Yellowjackets struggled to assert their national reputation, finishing a disappointing fifth of eight teams at 27-hole invitational at Stafford Country Club.
The Cardinals made a decisive claim for the team victory, tallying 425 strokes over the weekend, led by the efforts of Corey Haas and Chris Blyth, who tied for the lowest individual scores.
Allegheny College (447) finished a distant second, while Daemen College and Roberts Wesleyan University tied for third with identical scores of 453 — three strokes ahead of the ’Jackets.
The day was not without its highlights. Several freshmen got their first taste of athletic success at the collegiate level. Freshman George William VanderZwaag was by far the most impressive, tying senior teammate Marc Youngentob for 11th place individually with a two-day score of 112. The two finished with identical scores on both days of competition (38, 74) and each managed four birdies on the weekend.
After shooting the same score as VanderZwaag and Youngentob on day one, junior Will Mallia fell just shy of his teammates’ pace by firing a 75 on day two to end in a tie for 14th place overall with 113 strokes. Junior Rafael Baez and freshman Sean Hickey tied for 30th overall with 119 strokes apiece to complete the UR scoring. Freshman Dominick Schumacher (tied for 28th, 118 strokes) also had a strong showing in his first competition as an individual, while freshman Matt Michael (tied for 32nd, 120 strokes) and junior Tyler Scarborough (tied for 40th, 123 strokes) finished up the Yellowjackets’ representation.
The yellow and blue are on the road again this weekend at the Guy Kuhn Memorial Invitational at the Country Club of Meadville, hosted by Allegheny, beginning Sunday, Sept. 16.
Cozen is a member of the class of 2015.