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Golf team finishes in middle of pack
Todd Howes knows that the Quinnipiac golf team can compete for the Northeast Conference title. What the Bobcats’ golf coach doesn’t know is how his team will respond to the seventh-place finish at last weekend’s Dartmouth Invitational in New Hampshire.
“We started off real well but got progressively worse,” Howes said.
The two day tournament called for a 36-hole opening round with an 18-hole finish on Monday. “I think 36 holes is a little much for one day,” Howes said. “We struggled on Sunday.”
Despite the seventh-place finish, the golf team did show flashes of brilliance according to Howes. Andy Feehan finished 33rd and Ian O’Connor finished 37th in their first ever collegiate tournament. “They proved they’re players,” Howes said about his freshmen.
Craig Cyr, the only senior on the team and reigning Northeast Conference Player of the Year, placed 11th in the Dartmouth Invitational. During the summer Cyr won the New Hampshire State Amateur Golf Championship and developed his game even further.
Cyr got off to a rocky start Sunday, shooting a 78 and 77 in the first two rounds. However, Monday proved to be a different story as Cyr went on to make five birdies and shot an even par 71, good enough for 11th place.
Even with only one senior and two freshmen that have already broken into the starting five, leadership is not an issue within the team. “Everyone is equal” said Howes, “and we all kind of end up leading each other.”
Junior Steve Velardi has stepped up and assumed a role of leadership. In addition, many of the sophomores, despite playing just one season of collegiate golf, find themselves as an essential part of the team’s chemistry.
The Bobcats are as deep in talent as they are in leadership. Although Howes doesn’t foresee switching up the starting five too much, he does have enough talent to do so.
Howes says the Bobcats have eight solid guys, which is something that he has not always had the luxury of. In addition, freshman Jimmy Stack could be ready to contribute to the team as early as this coming spring season.
Even with all the talent the Bobcats have, winning the Northeast Conference Championship will be a daunting task. Conference rival Central Connecticut State University finished third at the Dartmouth Invitational, proving that it may be the biggest obstacle between the Bobcats and an NEC title. Sacred Heart University, also of the NEC, finished ninth, showing that it also has the ability to give the Bobcats some trouble.
Despite a tough conference the Bobcats remain optimistic. The autumn season allows the team to sharpen its skills. In the spring, Quinnipiac will begin its NEC schedule.