The Rider men’s golf team was unable to close out the 2007 fall season on a high note.
The team traveled to Littlestown, Pa. for the Mount St. Mary’s Fall Classic last Friday which took place at the Quail Valley Golf Course.
The team struggled in the beginning, as it was 17 strokes behind leader Mount St. Mary’s who shot a 291 during the first 18 holes of the tournament. The Broncs were tied for eighth place.
Senior Tyler Brewington led the charge for Rider shooting a 74, but finished in an uncharacteristic 18th place out of 69 golfers on day one.
“I was surprised to see that I was 18th after the first day,” Brewington said. “The wind and the weather were not exactly favorable for the golfers and I thought a 74 would give me a solid placing.”
Brewington was also tinkering with his swing and was trying a new technique on day one.
“I changed my putting grip a few days before the tournament,” Brewington said. “I changed it to what’s considered the ‘normal’ way to grip it. It wasn’t easy at first so I received some help from [LeFante]. I wasn’t able to make the ball pick up speed on the green and that can be a major factor. It probably cost me a few shots.”
Andrew Mason of Temple, Sean Davey of Hofstra, and Mark MacKay of Ottawa were tied for first with a score of 71 and a one-stroke lead.
Sophomore Kevin Krecicki shot a 76 on day one and was tied for 28th place. Freshman Brent Wolgast shot a 77 and was tied for 31st place. Freshman Brian Accorsini had a first-day score of 81 that put him in a tie for 53rd place. Junior Eric LeFante posted an 84 on day one, and he was tied for 61st place.
Sophomore Dan Toomey played unattached and put up a 79 on day one that tied him for 46th place.
On day two, the Broncs’ effort improved, especially Brewington’s.
Brewington finished strong, shooting a 3 under par 69, 143 for the tournament and winning the event after a two-hole playoff with Davey. Brewington shot par in the second hole to seal the deal when Davey bogeyed on the hole.
“I felt like I hit the ball very well today,” Brewington said. “The main thing was that I had a better feel for the greens and was able to pick up a few birdies early.”
The senior golfer had a tremendous fall season with this being the second tournament he’s won this season. His worst finish was at the Colgate Invitational to start off the fall campaign when he finished third out of 75 golfers. He has also finished as the runner-up in two events.
The team finished with a two-day score of 611 and finished seventh out of 13 teams. They were 21 shots back from Mount St. Mary’s, who won the event with a final score of 590.
Wolgast shot a 78 on day two to finish with a 155 and tied for 29th place.
“I felt like I left a lot of stroke out on the course this weekend,” Wolgast said. “I hit the ball well and got off to a good start on both days, which was a good thing. My short game and finishing holes were not up to par.”
Krecicki (shot an 81) and Accorsini (shot a 76) finished with a score of 157 and were tied for 37th place. LeFante shot an 80 on day two for a two-day score of 164 for 58th place.
“This past weekend for myself was disappointing,” LeFante said. “They were by far the worst scores I put up for a long time. I am hitting some quality golf shots and just not scoring well. That seems like that was the case for the whole season because I probably hit the ball about as good as I ever have but could not put many good scores together.”
Toomey shot an 80 on the final 18 holes of the season for a total score of 164 that was good for 58th place.
LeFante said he and the other golfers didn’t play to the level they are capable of, but that they will work harder in the off-season so the team can continue to make progress.
“Tyler did well this past weekend with a victory,” LeFante said. “He also had a lot of strong finishes, but for the rest of us it’s a little disappointing. We’re all so much better than what we showed this year, and are disappointed that we didn’t come as close as we thought we could have.”
The eight-man team, which included three freshmen, was a young group. LeFante has said before that this isn’t a bad thing as the new players are making progress each week, and Wolgast agrees.
“I feel as a freshman that I got a lot of good experience,” Wolgast said. “I will be able to take this into the spring season.”
Throughout the year, team members have said that the team hasn’t played to its potential. They’ll be more experienced next season and are expected to have much better results.