BY GEORGE THOMPSON, SPORTS EDITOR
Battling through rain and fierce winds at the Empire 8 Championships held Sept. 21-22, the Susquehanna men’s golf team placed fourth at the championships, which were hosted by Elmira College.
The fourth-place finish included a team score of 306 on the second day that matched the score of nationally-ranked St. John Fisher.
“It’s huge being able to throw up a 306 like that and match St. John Fisher, and everybody left some strokes out there,” senior Anthony Canarie said. “Couple more putts here or there. Somebody doesn’t hit a hazard, and we beat them day two. That’s huge to know that if we’re playing with the seventh-ranked team in the nation, that just gives us huge confidence. We know that we can go out there and hang up a good number.”
Coach Buddy Yarger added that a result like this is huge for the team heading into the spring. When the conference championships roll around, the team will give themselves a chance instead of thinking they don’t have a shot because the other team is better than them.
Throughout the two-day tournament, Mother Nature wasn’t particularly kind, as Susquehanna and the rest of the teams were forced to play through difficult conditions.
“The weather both days was pretty tough,” senior Stephen Welkie said.
Despite the conditions, Susquehanna still had some advantages going for them, two of which Yarger said he felt helped his team get the result they did.
“We went up on Friday. Played a practice round on Friday,” Yarger said. “So that was a benefit to us to know where to hit it, where to play it…”
At the closing of the first day, Susquehanna found themselves 14 strokes behind St. John Fisher, with a score of 314.
“Going into the second day we just didn’t want to lose any ground on them,” Welkie said.
Canarie was complementary of Welkie and junior Ryan Bruvik, who put up impressive scores of 72 and 75 on the second day respectively.
“Bruvik and Welkie really were able to capitalize on those strokes and put up some great numbers, especially in those conditions,” Canarie said. “I think it was just the focus. Those guys being able to step up for us, that was huge.”
While the men’s golf team was competing at the Empire 8 Championships, the women’s golf team was playing in the McDaniel Invitational at the Bridges Country Club, where they placed fourth.
Despite their best efforts, Susquehanna saw Gettysburg, McDaniel and Muhlenberg finish above them. Susquehanna finished with a score of 459, while the top team, Gettysburg, finished with a score of 347.
Susquehanna saw three players place in the top 20. Susquehanna’s top finisher of the day was senior Lauren Fitzgerald, who tied for 12th with freshman Emily Unrue from Muhlenberg, with a score of 95.
Further down, representing Susquehanna was freshman Shannon O’Connor, who tied for 17th, and senior Annie Albert, who finished in 19th.
Freshman Jocelyn Tomayo finished two spots out of the top 20 with a 22nd place finish.
The men’s team will be competing in the Susquehanna Invitational on Sunday and Monday. Meanwhile, the women’s team will be playing in the Martin/Wallace Invitational, which will be held Saturday and Sunday.