By Jordan Hall
The golf team put together another solid performance at the Cornell Invitational while sophomore Brent Wolgast highlighted the weekend by breaking a school record.
Rider has consistently finished in the middle of the pack this season, and they did so again, concluding the rain-shortened invitational eighth out of 15 teams.
“Our team expectations were the same as they have been all year, and that is to compete and have a chance to win,” Wolgast said.
Wolgast gave the Broncs a tremendous chance to win with a career day on Saturday, shooting a 65 on the par 72 course, the lowest round in Rider history.
“I wanted to play three solid rounds that could help my team win and also have a chance to win individually,” Wolgast said.
The Bay City, Mich. native stated that it was his best round ever, including his high school playing days.
“Sixty-five is my best ever in any tournament,” Wolgast said. “My previous best was a 69.”
The Broncs were on pace to finish better than eighth on Sunday until rain canceled the 15 holes they had already completed.
Overall, Wolgast led the way for Rider, closing out the tournament an impressive sixth out of 79 golfers. He scored a combined 147 in the 36 holes.
“I was very happy with the 65, obviously, but the round before I had a disappointing 82,” Wolgast said. “I had three bad holes where I made a quadruple bogey, triple bogey and double bogey.”
Graduate student and the Broncs’ number one player, Eric LeFante, shot a 154, placing him 34th overall. The veteran displayed consistency, putting up rounds of 76 and 78. LeFante has been vital to the team’s success thus far, earning first place honors at the Leo Keenan Invitational, hosted by St. Bonaventure, and runner-up at the Rutgers Invitational.
Junior Brian Accorsini matched his teammate with a 154 himself shooting a 75 and 79 for the tournament. The Hopkinton High School graduate has been an underrated complement to the tandem of LeFante and Wolgast.
Junior Jordan Wycoff followed that up with a 58th-place finish shooting 160.
Binghamton took the first-place crown, capping off the tournament with a score of 590, while Rider shot a combined 615. Delaware, the defending champion of the invitational, finished third with a score of 599.
“For the Cornell tournament, we never really pieced together a solid round but we were very close,” Wolgast said.
In the Broncs’ previous invitationals, they have finished sixth out of 13 and fifth out of 13, proving to be one of the stronger teams each tournament. But they’re striving for more.
“As a team, I think we are playing average,” Wolgast said. “We have some little things to work on. In golf, it’s funny because a few shots or stupid mistakes can cost you three to five shots. We are very close, though, as a team, to winning a tournament, I believe.”
Next on the slate for the Broncs is the Joe Agee Invitational this weekend, which is hosted by the College of William & Mary. Rider will travel to Williamsburg, Va., where the team looks to capture its first tournament victory since 2007.
By Jordan Hall