By Michael Mack
The Rider golf team traveled to Williamsburg, Va. to compete in the Joe Agee Invitational hosted by the College of William & Mary last weekend. The results were enough to leave the team teed off.
The Broncs finished 10th of 11 teams. Delaware captured the first-place crown shooting a combined 578 while Rider finished the tournament with a score of 613. This was the Broncs’ first invitational where they showed significant struggles, finishing in the bottom half for only the second time this season.
Rider was led by graduate student Eric LeFante, who shot a 147 over the two-day event, placing him 18th among the 62 golfers.
LeFante shot a 76 on the first day and improved his score by five strokes the second day, shooting an even par 71.
“I have mixed feelings about my play this past weekend,” LeFante said. “My first round was very disappointing because I hit the ball pretty well and did not end up with the score that I would have liked.”
LeFante admitted that he was happy with his improvement, however.
“I was fairly pleased with my second round,” he said. “I finished the round with three birdies on the last four holes, which felt really good, and I was pleased that I hung in there and finished strong.”
As far as the team’s performance goes, LeFante knows that work needs to be done.
“This past weekend wasn’t one of our best performances,” he said. “We didn’t play bad, but we all made enough mistakes to shoot poorly, which is frustrating.”
However, this tournament did have a bright side. After a disappointing first day, every player on the team came back the second day and improved on his first-day score.
Juniors Brent Wolgast and Brian Accorsini tied for 42nd place in the tournament by following their first-day scores of 77 with second-day scores of 76.
Senior Kevin Krecicki cut his score by two strokes as he followed 81 with a 79, and junior Jordan Wycoff dropped an impressive 12 strokes by following his 91 with a 79. Even with the improvements, LeFante believes the team is still performing below standards.
“We haven’t even come close to playing to our potential,” LeFante said. “Not one player on the team has. All of us show signs of playing really well, and we have got the focus and concentration to have a really great tournament. It is really difficult to be 100 percent committed to every single shot, and that is something that every golfer in the world struggles with, and we are trying very hard to do.”
Things are looking up for the team, however, as its next tournament is the Fairleigh Dickinson Invitational. The Broncs finished in a tie for first at this tournament last year and figure to be one of the favorites again this year.
“I think the whole team is looking forward to that,” LeFante said. “I think we all have positive feelings going into this tournament. Last year’s tournament was the best one we had in the past three seasons.”
The Broncs begin the three day invitational on Sunday, Oct. 25, in Basking Ridge, N.J.