The GW golf team continued its successful season last weekend by finishing third out of 16 teams at the Stabler Collegiate Invitational Tournament in Center Valley, Pa.
The Colonials shot a 611 (35-over) as a team in the two-day, 36-hole tournament Friday and Saturday. The Colonials finished 18 shots behind the first-place University of Pennsylvania, which shot a combined 593 (17-over) and just two shots behind second-place Villanova University, which finished at 609 (33-over).
Freshman Bryan Derdenger led the Colonials, finishing with an overall score of 148 (73-75) on the par-72 course, good enough to tie for third overall. Derdenger has led GW in scoring in the last two tournaments.
GW head coach Scott Allen said Derdenger already has qualified for the next tournament, along with his twin brother Tim Derdenger, who shot a 153 (73-80). Ryan Day, Michael Goldman and Tim Blankvoort – the other GW starters – finished with scores of 158, 161, and 161, respectively. All five players finished in the top 40.
The Colonials led the tournament after the first day by a two-shot margin over Penn.
“Usually the top teams go out and play with each other around mid-morning,” Allen said. “Here, on the second day, we were paired with some really bad teams and had to start at 8 a.m. in the morning. The distractions of not knowing what our main competitors were doing, waiting for the teams we were with to finish and the early start time may have thrown our concentration off slightly the second day.”
Individually, almost all the GW players had some good moments, Allen said, proving that he has a deep team. At one point on the first day of the tournament, sophomore Ryan Day carded a birdie, an eagle and a birdie consecutively.
Allen also said in each tournament that the Colonials have played so far this year, the player with the worst score on the first day has either finished second or first for the team on the second day. Sophomore Michael Goldman followed suit, shooting an 85 on the first day but followed it up with a 76 on day two.
“Mike may have put a little extra pressure on himself to prove that he belonged, since this was his first start for us this year,” Allen said.
With this finish, the Colonials are 38-8 against teams in their region, District II. Their goal is to finish the fall season and head into the spring in the top 10 of the district, which would be a great start for a possible NCAA playoff berth at the end of the year. Allen pointed to the team’s last two tournaments of the fall season, played Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 7-8, as important steps for the team toward reaching their goals.
“A strong finish there (at the Old Dominion University/SeaScape Intercollegiate) would be great for our team in terms of respect from others and our mental attitude heading toward the last tournament,” Allen said.
“The last one’s (the Delaware-Caves Valley Invitational) is the big one, containing almost all the teams from our district,” he said. “Our accomplishments there will go a long way toward deciding whether we make the playoffs or not.”