By Tom Regan
After taking third place out of seven at the Peacock Invitational, the golf team headed to Disney’s Palm Golf Course in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. for the MAAC Championships on April 25-27.
On the opening 18 holes of the 54-hole tournament, the Broncs were ranked eighth out of nine, but saw sophomore Tom Yarson rank as high as second through the opening nine holes of the tournament.
Yarson eventually dropped to 10th with a score of 78 for the day and freshman Aaron Simone was 20th, finishing the afternoon with an 81. Senior James Buttermark finished the day in 34th after golfing an 84.
Buttermark credits the slow start to nervousness, as he believed the team let the nerves of the competition get to them.
“We were all nervous, we just wanted to win so badly that we put a lot of pressure on ourselves,” Buttermark said. “It hurt us a lot.”
The second day saw Yarson push back up to ninth after golfing another 78 for a two-day score of 156, while Simone moved down to 21st after a 79 gave him a score of 160 over the first 36 holes.
Buttermark moved up to a tie for 28th with a two-day score of 163 after improving with a 79 in the second 18 holes of the tournament.
The Broncs finished the MAAC Championships in eighth, just nine strokes behind Iona in what could have been a fifth place finish.
Individually, Buttermark finished the last 18 holes just two strokes over par with a score of 74 and a three-day total of 237 to bring him up to a tie for 15th place. Simone golfed another 77 to bring himself into a tie with Buttermark for the tournament.
After scoring 78 on the first two days, Yarson finished the final 18 holes with a score of 90, which brought his tournament total to 247 for a 31st place finish.
Sophomore Joe Hughes finished the tournament with a 248, which placed him at 34th, while junior Luke Liddell finished in 41st with a score of 254.
Head Coach Jason Barry believes the team did not put their best strokes forward this weekend, but understands that sometimes that can happen.
“Golf is like that, sometimes you don’t play well. We did that this weekend,” Barry said. “We felt great heading into the tournament and didn’t execute.”
Barry is proud of the spring season, especially his team’s ability to keep themselves in the race. Barry hopes the younger golfers carry the progress into next season.
“There were many improvements, as we averaged eight strokes lower per round and we gave ourselves a chance to win tournaments,” Barry said. “We’re going to keep building on the momentum we started this year. The guys will all be competing in summer tourneys; we will be ready to go in the fall.”
Buttermark, who concluded his senior season on Sunday, is confident that he had a great Bronc career and ended on a high note after placing 15th in the MAAC championships.
“I’m very proud of my career as a whole; I’ve had a lot of great finishes and great memories,” Buttermark said. “With regards to this weekend, I felt that I could have played a lot better, but I am happy with the way I ended my Rider career.”