By Brian Sommer
After a slow start at the Colgate and Rutgers Invitationals, the Broncs hoped to improve at the Cornell Invitational on Sept. 21-22 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Ithaca, N.Y., but were unsuccessful.
On the first day of the two-day Cornell event, with inclement weather looming, Rider placed 11th of 15 teams in the field, with a total score of 309 after the first round. The Broncs were only 9 strokes behind leader Binghamton, which finished with 300 strokes.
Going into the second round, Rider had strong outings from sophomore Tom Yarson, senior James Buttermark and freshman Sam DiGaetano. Each placed in the top 25 after the first round, with Yarson placing 13th, and Buttermark and DiGaetano tying for 24th.
In the middle of the second round, play was halted because of rain. DiGaetano stressed that the weather could affect the players game, but only if they allow it.
“The weather is something that affects the whole field, but can specifically affect individuals who let it,” DiGaetano said. “I try my best to block it out and play through it, but rain, wind and cold temperatures definitely do not make it any easier.”
The second round resumed on Sept. 22 at 7:30 a.m., but Rider could not get a good rhythm going in the morning.
Yarson continued playing well, finishing with rounds of 74 and 78, placing him 19th overall. Junior Cole Clark, who started off slow in the first round, turned it up in the second and final round with scores of 76 and 74. This led the Broncs to an 11th-place finish.
With examples of strong play from many players on the team, Buttermark, the lone senior, remains confident about the team’s prospects.
“I have seen a ton of positives this fall,” he said. “I am looking forward to the rest of the season and the spring,”
The Broncs have improved under new Head Coach Jason Barry, and DiGaetano was pleased that Barry has taken the lead.
“Jason has been my swing coach for several years, and when I learned that he had gotten the job, I could not have been happier,” he said. “It truly is a blessing having someone I consider a big brother as my coach.”
The Broncs have off for a week until they travel to Appalachin, N.Y., for the Binghamton Fall Invitational on Oct. 6-7, the final event of the fall golf season.