Bryan Derdenger fired a one-over-par 145 (69-76) to win the Stabler Invitational last weekend, leading the GW golf team to a solid fourth-place finish at Bethlehem, Pa. The GW junior defeated Bucknell University’s Ken Kosteva on the fourth playoff hole, helping the Colonials (604) finish the 18-team tournament just eight strokes behind winner Princeton University (596).
Derdenger and Kosteva were tied with 145s at the end of regulation, sending the two golfers to the playoff. Both players bogeyed the first hole and parred the second and third holds, making for the dramatic finish. Kostova bogeyed the fourth hole while Derdenger putted in for a match-winning par.
Although it has taken me all semester to finally put together a round of this nature, it was gratifying to once again feel the joy of playing up to my potential, Derdenger said. I went into this weekend wanting to win and felt that I had a great chance of doing so because I was hitting the ball perfect and was gaining confidence with my putter. I have been told that I have the talent to do this and it was just a matter of time for me to win a college tournament. Finally, I broke through.
By winning the tournament, Derdenger passed coach Scott Allen for second all-time in top five finishes at GW with eight. He also achieved the lowest first-round score in school history with a 69 in the first round of the invitational.
He didn’t force anything, he played patient and smart and let things come to him, Allen said.
On the first day, Derdenger made five birdies and only two bogies. Derdenger missed some key putts in the second round of the two-round 36-hole event, but maintained par when it mattered most.
I feel that with my experience in playoffs and help from Scott (Allen) I was destined to win. Derdenger said.
GW junior Thomas Blankvoort (73-75, 148) placed in a five-way tie for sixth place overall, finishing only three strokes behind Derdenger.
Thomas (Blankvoort) also played very steady all weekend, Allen said. He had a little trouble on the last hole, or he would have had a chance at the playoffs.
The competition was intense as the Colonials finished one stroke behind both the University of Pennsylvania and Colgate University.
It was a strong field, a deeper one than at (Rehoboth Beach), Allen said. We beat Iona, who had beaten us two weeks ago. We are now two and two with them.
The golf team heads to Kitty Hawk, N.C., for the SeaScape Invitational Oct 30-31.
This is the last tournament and then we’re done for the fall, Allen said. There is a strong national field at this one, but I think we can be very competitive. Bryan (Derdenger), Thomas (Blankvoort) and Ryan (Day) are three guys that can compete as good as any other top player in our region.