The golf team started its spring season by placing third out of 15 teams in the Kenyon Cup in Howard, Ohio, but nobody on the team was satisfied with the results.
“For our first tournament, I thought our result was good,” coach Rich Johnson said, “but we all felt we could have, and should have, done better.”
UR shot 314 and 312 for a two-round total of 626, 11 shots behind second-place Allegheny College, which is an encouraging sign in itself. Allegheny beat the Yellowjackets by 31 shots in the final tournament of the fall season. Ohio Wesleyan won the Kenyon Cup with a total of 604.
Junior John Semeniak placed 12th individually to lead UR. He shot an 80 and a 76 to finish at 156.
“I was pleased with the way I struck the ball this weekend, but I do need a little work on the mental part of the game,” Semeniak said. “One hole I am disappointed with is the par-3 fifth. It was about 130 yards, all over water, and for some reason I made two poor swings and ended up hitting it in the water both days.”
Disappointment in the mental aspect of the game was a common theme for the team.
“We talked a lot about it after the first round, so it’s something we have to work on very hard to get mentally tough,” Johnson said. “We have to keep focused on the immediate job at hand and not get distracted by what may have happened a hole or so back. It’s a long day out there and it’s a real tough job mentally.”
Brothers Joe and Mike Quijano each shot 78-79?157 for UR. Sophomore Dave Masters shot a 159 and junior Scott Clyde posted a 160.
“All five players were pretty close, so everybody contributed,” Johnson said. “They know that they’re all good players and on any given day any one of them can be the best player. We don’t have any real outstanding players. They’re all very comparable and competitive.”
The Quijanos both thought that they and the team could have done much better if they had limited their mental errors.
“I was pleased with the way I was striking the ball, but I had a few mental lapses that cost me a number of shots,” Mike Quijano, a junior, said. “My scores were not disastrous, but I feel I could have won the tournament if it weren’t for those mental lapses.”
He shot a one-over-par 37 on the front nine of the second round, but then started overthinking and finished with a 42 on the back nine.
“What I need to work on is establishing a good mental process for every shot, being confident in what I am doing and trusting my decisions,” he said. “I do, however, think that we are off to a good start. We finished third and nobody even played that well, so there is no doubt we could have won and that we can win.”
Joe Quijano, a senior, thought that he could have shot below a 150 for the tournament if he had eliminated his mental mistakes.
“I made a couple mental mistakes that put my scores about four shots higher each day,” he said. “That was pretty disappointing, but I’m working on that in practice this week.”
Despite the mental errors, it was a promising way to open the spring season for UR.
“I think it was a decent start to the season, but we expect to win every tournament we are in,” Joe Quijano said. “Once we start to eliminate our mental errors, we will put ourselves in better position to win.”
UR’s next chance will come this weekend when the Yellowjackets compete in the Mid-Atlantic Region Golf Classic in Hershey, Pa. on Sunday and Monday.
“My expectations are for our chances of winning this tournament to be as good as any other team’s chances,” Johnson said. “We expect our main competition to come from Wesley College [Del.] and Allegheny.”
Jacobs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.