Men’s golf starts season on the upswing

Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

After a disappointing last-place ranking at the Ivy League Championship in April, the Brown men’s golf team opened the 2012-2013 season with a fifth-place finish at the Navy Fall Classic at the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club in Annapolis, Md., this past weekend.
Last year’s squad set the school record for lowest round with 283 strokes. Though the team didn’t play another round for the record books this weekend, Head Coach Michael Hughes said he was just as impressed with his players’ performance.
“(On Saturday), we shot 291 and were in fourth. (Sunday) we shot 295 and placed fifth,” Hughes said. “We were only two shots out of third. The fact of the matter is that we’re now a very balanced and competitive team – we were in contention the whole way.”
Justin Miller ’15 noted the team’s consistency at the tournament.
“I don’t remember playing under 300 back-to-back in a tournament. Usually, we’re shooting 300. It takes a lot of pressure off everyone.”
Miller torched the course for the second year in a row, placing fifth overall in the tournament to lead the Bears with an overall score of 143. Miller was not alone atop the leaderboard – in his collegiate debut, Jack Wilson ’16 shot 146, landing him in 14th place in the tournament. Nelson Hargrove ‘13.5 followed closely behind Wilson and carded a 147 for the weekend. Peter Callas ’14 and Kyohei Itamura ’14 rounded out the Bears’ scorecard with scores of 150 and 151, respectively.
“We have a team that can compete to win tournaments,” said co-captain J.D. Ardell ’13. “The key point is to keep the momentum going from our high points. (Last) fall was a little bit of a roller coaster.”
Hughes discussed the upcoming season and goals for his team, which will feature all key players from last year in addition to Wilson.
“We have three goals: start contending in these events, win one of these events and win the Ivy League Tournament in the spring,” Hughes said. “These kids expect to play well.”
In past years, Hughes has scheduled tournaments against top-25 teams to propel Brown into the national picture. By contrast, this year’s goals will be played out on a schedule that will bypass many of the powerhouse programs that have been on the schedule in recent seasons.
“We’re playing a lighter schedule where we can compete to win and build up our nerves that we need to win a big tournament,” Ardell said. “It’s a different feeling playing in the last group, playing for something.”
The team will primarily be teeing up against Ivy League and regional opponents.
The first big change to Bruno’s schedule will be an appearance at the Big Red Invitational Sept. 22 and 23 at Cornell. The tournament will be the first time any of the team’s current players have seen the course, but they will be familiar with their competition.
“The Cornell field is more indicative of the guys we play against all year,” Hughes said. “They’re more in tune with the competition we play against.”
Brown is poised to emerge as a competitor in the Ivy League and the region, with a veteran core building on last year’s impressive performance from underclassmen.
“I couldn’t be happier. I think that the seniors have provided great leadership,” Hughes said. “They’ve proven in the past they’re here to compete. We’re a better all-over collective team this year.”
Hughes said he is optimistic about his team’s ability to compete this season.
“There are great times ahead for golf on College Hill. No matter which five (golfers) we put out, we’re going to be a great representation of Brown golf.”


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