Young GW golf team struggles at A-10 tourney

If the Atlantic 10 Men’s Golf Championship at Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg, Pa. had been the last competition for the GW golf team, it would have been a very bad way to end the season.

The Colonial golfers finished in ninth place (976) at the three-day, 54-hole conference tournament, held April 12-14, in one of their worst performances of the year.

“It (Southpointe) is very tight and there are a lot of out of bounds and water, so it was tough to keep the ball in play,” head coach Scott Allen said of the par-72 course. “We’re a young team, and young golfers tend to hit a lot of drivers and go after pins, and you can’t do those things on a course like that.”

GW’s season, though, did not end with the poor performance at the A-10 Championship. The Colonials still have four tournaments remaining, including the prestigious District II Championships in the beginning of May.

GW finished well behind Xavier (903), which overcame a two-stroke deficit on the final day to win its first-ever A-10 Championship and edge two-time defending champion Virginia Tech (904). Seven schools at the tournament broke 970 for the 15 rounds played, and GW’s score allowed it to finish ahead of only two schools – Fordham (994) and La Salle (1001).

For GW, each round of golf was a struggle, although the team improved each day. After the first day of competition, GW was just four strokes out of last place after shooting a combined 333, 26 strokes off the pace set by Xavier. The low Colonial score for the day was an 81 by freshman Mike Goldman, while senior co-captain Luis Barrutieta shot the team’s high score of 88.

“He (Barrutieta) is able to pick up a lot of strokes with smart play and his short game but he hit the ball horribly (at the tournament),” Allen said. “He hasn’t been able to find any consistency.”

GW improved with a team score of 324 on the second day, led by a 76 by freshman Darren Ressler and a 79 by Goldman. The two freshmen ended the tournament in a tie for 27th place and were GW’s highest individual finishers.

“On the bright side, I’ve got a lot of our younger guys getting experience in college competition,” said Allen, who started a senior, a sophomore and three freshmen at the A-10 Championship. “This has really turned into a rebuilding year for us.”

The Colonials improved to a 319 on the final day, which was only good enough to solidify their hold on ninth place. Freshman Ryan Day led GW in the third round with a 78 – his best score as a Colonial – while sophomore Dan Reardon fired a 79.

“I wasn’t pleased with the results, but I was pleased with all the guys scrapping it out and not giving up,” Allen said.

The Colonial golfers are back in action Friday when they travel to Oxford, Pa. for the Temple University Wyncotte Invitational, a 36-hole event.

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