Quietly, GW golf is having a spectacular season.
The Colonials’ third-place finish at this past weekend’s Atlantic 10 Tournament was their highest finish in the championship since they finished second behind Temple in 1985. GW also had the highest finish in its district, beating Virginia Tech for the first time in 21 years.
The showing at the A-10 Tournament was a complete effort. The four players’ scores that counted were all in the top 27 out of 44 golfers. Tim Derdenger had the highest finish for the Colonials, placing seventh with a score of 222 (par 213). His performance achieved new heights for Colonial golfers. The six players who finished ahead of Derdenger all were named to the A-10 conference teams. Two of them, Garren Poirier of Temple and Josh Holman of Rhode Island, were only one shot better than Derdenger.
In other words, the Colonials are beginning to measure themselves against the best in the conference. Also of note, Derdenger was one of only three players in the top nine whose third-round score was better than the second-round score, showing both poise and maturity unexpected of a freshman.
The Colonials are extremely deep. Unlike other teams in the A-10, GW head coach Scott Allen used five different starting lineups dating back to the fall season. Currently, he has a rotation of approximately eight different players. None of them are upperclassmen.
The Derdenger twins are the closest thing Allen has to permanent starters, but they haven’t played in every tournament either, despite the fact that each of them has had GW’s best finish at least twice.
Tim Blankvoort, another freshman, has shown flashes of brilliance at times this year, and is learning to shoot low sores in crucial situations. Sophomore Michael Goldman, who finished last year with the second-best average on the team, has barely gotten into tournament play this year. Sophomore Ryan Day and freshman Bobby Barnett have done their part to help earn the Colonials respect. Combine this rotation with the stability of a head coach who’s been here five years – the second-longest tenure of any GW golf coach – and it becomes clear why the Colonials are making waves.
Finally, the Colonials are beating the teams they have to beat if they want this season to continue. GW has minimized the number of losses to teams that are worse than it. And the teams that are supposed to beat the Colonials – GW’s closing the gap on them with every tournament.