Men’s golf team suffers rough second round

Miller ’15 and Wilson ’16 each completed three rounds in 226 strokes, 10 over par for the tourney

Contributing Writer
Friday, September 27, 2013

In its second tournament of the year, the men’s golf team finished 10th in the 17-team Hartford Hawk Invitational. The low finish was due in large part to a poor second round, despite strong showings in the other two.

Rutgers University won the tournament with a cumulative team score of 868, just four strokes over par for the three rounds. The Scarlet Knights edged out Hartford University, the tournament host, by only seven strokes. Brown finished with a total score of 921 — 53 strokes back of the winners — but just 13 strokes behind the sixth place finisher, the University of Rhode Island.

Bruno shot a respectable 304 in the first round, making for an average score of four strokes above par on the par-72 course. While the Bears stayed just off the pace of the leaders, they fell much further behind after the second round.

The team score dropped to 317 the next time through the course — an average of 3.25 more strokes per scoring golfer. Only the four lowest scores of the five golfers counted towards the team score, but the entire team suffered in the second round. The Bears bounced back for the third round, shooting 300 and vaulting over three teams on the final day of competition in moving from 13th to 10th.

Despite a frustrating middle round, Head Coach Michael Hughes said he was encouraged by what he saw from the team this weekend.

“I was pleased with the whole event,” Hughes said, but added that he was not entirely satisfied. Hughes said the team suffered from “a little inconsistency,” noting that the second round “derailed us” and that the team needed to “string together three rounds,” to place high.

If the team had shot a 302 in the second round, which was the average of its other two scores, the 15-shot boost would have landed it in sixth place.

The final result left something to be desired, but Hughes had plenty of reasons to be happy with his team. The Bears’ day-three rebound “shows what we’re capable of … moving up three teams in 18 holes,” he said, which “is pretty impressive.”

Moving on from the team performance, Hughes also heaped praise on his players individually. He singled out Justin Miller ’15, saying he was “our best player,” and said both Nelson Hargrove ’13.5 and Jack Wilson ’16 were “consistent.” Hughes commended Hargrove for his steady play last season and Wilson for his performance at the tournament.

Miller and Wilson were the low shooters for Bruno, both completing the three rounds in 226 strokes, 10 over par for the tournament. Their performances were good for 21st among all individual competitors. Hargrove finished seven behind Miller and Wilson at 233 strokes, putting him in 45th among all golfers.

It was “nice to bounce back” after a “tough go … in the second round,” Miller said. One of many players whose scores jumped during the second round, he shot 76-79-71, making a nice return to form on the final day.

Regarding specific aspects of his game, Miller said he was proud of his work on the greens, saying, “I putted really well,” but he was not as happy with himself off the tee. “If I hit a few more fairways, it’ll probably take a little stress off my short game,” he said.

Despite team struggles, Wilson performed well in round two. He shot 77-73-76, making the second round his best. Having bucked the trend that sank his teammates, he said he was “pretty happy” with himself but still was far from perfect. “I think I gave a lot of shots away,” he said.

Like Miller, Wilson improved his putting, saying his “short game got a lot better” since the team’s season-opening competition in the Navy Fall Invitational in Annapolis, Md. Wilson aims to continue improving his score as the season goes on. “It’s easy to go out and treat practice as a time to relax,” said Wilson, who hopes to be more focused and wants to spend more time on “deliberate practice.”

“We’re getting closer to the level we all know we can play at,” Wilson said.

The team has next week off before heading to Yale and playing in the Macdonald Cup Oct. 5 and 6.


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