Consistency. It is a word that is vital when defining a quality sports team, and it is what every athlete strives to be, whether it involves maintaining a level of excellence or simply being able to hit a ball the same way every time.
More so than in other sports, this characteristic is pivotal in the game of golf. And this past weekend, the UR golf team was able to find that level of consistency and place fourth in a field of 12 teams in the St. Lawrence University Invitational in Canton, N.Y.
The Invite included both American and Canadian teams, however, in terms of NCAA qualification, only UR’s place among teams from the U.S. is relevant.
Leading the ‘Jackets was the team’s lone senior and captain, Jon Pecor, who finished the weekend at a 7-over 151. The score was good enough for 12th overall individually in a field of over 70 golfers.
‘I was pleased with the leadership we got from captain Jon Pecor and with the contribution of freshman David Wien,” head coach Dan Wesley said.
Pecor will lead a young team this year with a wealth of talent. Returning for the ‘Jackets are a number of sophomores who got valuable experience playing last year, most notably Ryan Williams, who won the University Athletic Association Championship’s individual title as a freshmen last spring. He was also named Rookie of the Year in the UAA because of his performance in the conference tournament.
Williams shot a solid 78 in both rounds over the weekend and finished in a tie for 25th.
Wien was a great indication of the amount of potential the ‘Jackets have in their line-up. The freshman shot a 10-over 154 through two rounds and finished 17th individually in his first-ever collegiate competition. Sophomores Chris Driscoll and Kevin Gay rounded off the weekend with scores of 163 and 164, respectively.
‘This past weekend’s tournament was a decent start to the season,” Wesley said. ‘We were hoping for better results, but we made up some ground on day two, and we fought hard.”
Last year, UR placed third out of 10 teams in the Invitational.
The ‘Jackets next competition is on Sept. 20, when they travel to Meadville, Pa. to compete in the Allegheney Invitational. The tournament is the last competition before the Liberty League Championships at Saratoga State Park on Sept. 29.
Last year, the conference tournament produced mixed results. UR finished in third in a field of six teams. Stephen Goodridge ’08 led the ‘Jackets with an individual second-place finish.
Goodridge was perhaps UR’s most prolific golfer, winning the Division III NCAA Championship as a sophomore, and it will be a true test for the ‘Jackets this year to see if they can replace him on course.
Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.