Women shine, men drop to last place

Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The men’s and women’s golf teams enjoyed some much needed sunshine as they spent their spring breaks competing in tournaments out West.

The women’s team played in the second tournament of its spring season as it competed in the Lady Otter Spring Invitational hosted by California State University at Monterey Bay March 28-29. The team clinched eighth place in the 22-team field with a two-day score of 636. Megan Tuohy ’12 led the Bears with rounds of 79 and 73 to earn 11th place individually. Sarah Guarascio ’11 also turned in a strong performance with a two-day score of 156 to earn 18th place individually.

Meanwhile, the men’s squad opened its spring schedule in the OGIO-Santa Barbara Invitational hosted by the University of California at Santa Barbara March 28-29. Despite the team’s last place finish in a field of 16, J.D. Ardell ’13 said he was glad to be back on the course after the five-month layoff following the conclusion of the fall season.

“I think we could have played better, but at the same time, it was nice to shake off the rust and get everything going,” he said. “Once you get the winter rust off, everyone can start working on the things they were lacking in the fall.”

The team carded a three-round 937, highlighted by a score of 227 by Michael Amato ’11 and Ardell’s 231, which earned individual finishes of 29th and 47th, respectively.

Men’s Head Coach Michael Hughes said because the field was strong and it was Bruno’s first tournament, the finish was not disheartening.

“It’s not an event where we are going to go out and compete, simply because we haven’t played since the end of October,” he said. “It’s hard to get out and compete against teams like the University of Oregon, which is a top-10 team. For most of these teams, this was their sixth or seventh event, so in that regard it was not surprising that we had the results we did.”

After the finish in Santa Barbara, the men’s squad traveled to Tucson, Ariz., for a face-off against the University of Arizona, a team to which Hughes said the Bears “paled in comparison.” He said by facing more talented teams early in the season, the Bears will continue to improve and be better prepared for the challenges to come.

“All this is building to a crescendo with the Ivy League Championship,” he said. “We played better the second day (in Santa Barbara) than we did the first, and when we played in Arizona, we played better than we did in Santa Barbara. If you’re not going forwards, you’re going backwards.”

For both the men’s and women’s squads, playing in sunny California and Arizona weather was a nice change of pace after a long winter.

“We got to play in great weather, which was our primary goal,” Hughes said. “It’s meant to reward the kids for putting in a long, arduous winter here, but at the same time, it’s a means to an end to get better for the Ivy League Championship.”

Over the winter break, the teams’ indoor practice facility was damaged in harsh weather conditions, leaving the squads with limited practice time.

“The amount of time that we’ve actually been able to play golf and chip and putt is pretty minimal coming off of the winter,” said Women’s Head Coach Danielle Griffiths. “We’ve hit golf balls day after day, but that’s all we’ve been able to do. That’s probably the one thing here in the Northeast — it takes a while for the greens to come back after the winter. Now we just need to focus on getting the ball in the hole.”

Both teams return home for their next tournament, as the women host the first-ever Brown Invitational at the Rhode Island Country Club April 10-11 and the men compete in the New England Division 1 Championship at the Newport National Golf Course April 9-10.

“It’s going to be nice to be just 20 minutes from the golf course,” Griffiths said. “We’re going to get to play it Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the tournament, so those four rounds will be very helpful in getting prepared.”

“We feel like we have a little bit of an advantage because it’s more like a home game for us,” Hughes said. “We played the Adams Cup there in the fall, so all of the guys have seen the course before. If we can continue to improve like we did in the last tournament and at Arizona, I think we’ll be okay.”


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