The men's golf team concluded its tumultuous fall campaign last weekend, ending on a disappointing note at the Classic at Shelter Harbor.
The team carded a 36-hole 633 at the Shelter Harbor Golf Club in Westerly, earning a 13th place finish in the field of 15. "This weekend was disappointing under any circumstances," said Head Coach Michael Hughes.
Though the team did not finish in the top half of competitors, it outshot Cornell, an Ivy League rival. "We all threw away shots at some point," said Captain J.D. Ardell '13. "All of our rounds could have been better."
The team stuck with the young lineup it has used for most of the fall campaign. Justin Miller '15 posted another team-leading round of 156, and placed 31st individually in the tournament.
"I couldn't be happier with the way he's playing," Hughes said. "He's going to be a force to be reckoned with."
Peter Callas '14, who did not participate in the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational the previous weekend, was right on Miller's tail, finishing with 158 for the weekend. Ardell turned in another solid round, shooting 160. John Greb's '15 164 and Kyohei Itamura's '14 172 rounded out the scoring.
But Hughes said the underwhelming weekend, though at first worrisome, does not put a damper on his high expectations for the young team — the roster is predominately made up of underclassmen.
"We're a young team," Hughes said. "We're going to get better as we get more seasoned and get used to the courses."
Building on a season that has featured the lowest score in Brown men's golf history, as well as a last place finish at the Big 5, Hughes viewed the season as a true spectrum of how the team can play.
"We played a good event, then we played a clunker," Hughes said. "We have to look at the entirety of the season."
The fall campaign "is a good learning experience," Ardell said. "We get to compete against Ivy League teams and see how we compare to them, see their weaknesses and strengths stacked against ours. The ultimate goal is getting to the NCAA tour."
The most likely way for the team to make it into the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Tournament is by winning the Ivy League Tournament during the spring season. Hughes said the team will take what it learned during the fall and tweak its game accordingly in order to pursue a berth in the spring.
"The fall season was overall a success," Hughes said. "But we're looking to getting back at it (in the spring) and get right on top of our game."
Ardell echoed his coach. "The big thing for us is going to work on our weaknesses and turn them into our strengths," he said.
Though full of ups and downs, the fall season provides the team insight into what to work on for the spring. Both Ardell and Hughes see Brown as a team that can make its presence known in a perennially top-heavy Ivy League.
"Wait for the spring season," Ardell said.