The battle of D.C.’s golf schools unexpectedly was won by the Colonials at last weekend’s James Madison Invitational in Staunton, Va.
GW’s score of 614, 46 strokes over par, was good enough for 11th place in the 25-team tournament. The Colonials posted a better score than D.C. rivals Georgetown (618), George Mason (618), and American (623).
“Anytime we can beat Georgetown it’s a great day. There’s a lot of local rivalry,” head coach Scott Allen said.
Freshman Michael Goldman led the Colonials with his best career score of 149 and tied for 13th place in the individuals. Goldman, who recently came back from a wrist injury, said he was happy he played well against golfers he knew from high school in Philadelphia, who now play for Temple and St. Joseph’s.
Goldman had some extra incentive at JMU.
“Coach said if I broke 150 I could listen to (the group) Phish on the way home. I sank a ten-foot (putt) on the final hole to do it,” Goldman said. Allen said Goldman worked with his swing recently in order to hit the ball straighter.
“(Goldman) has an excellent short game,” Allen said. “If he hits a lot of greens and fairways, he’s going to make a lot of birdie putts.”
The JMU Tournament was the Colonials’ first chance to play fellow District II teams. Thus far, the Colonials have played against quality, non-district teams.
“We’ve played a very challenging fall schedule considering how young a team we have. I think the competition has helped the younger players,” Allen said.
After signs of life last week, senior Luis Barrutieta (154, 35th place) struggled at JMU, particularly in the second round, where he shot an 80. Allen said Barrutieta’s game is “still coming around.” He added that Barrutieta’s excellent short game and tournament experience keep his scores from dropping even further.
Despite Barrutieta’s struggles, Goldman says the team’s captain still brings a lot to the team.
“Luis has given me advice. He also lightens the mood on the team,” Goldman said.
This weekend the Colonials travel to Baltimore, Md. for their final tournament of the autumn, the Delaware Fall Invitational. Allen said the Colonials have a good shot at winning the tournament.