Blankvoort leads team to season-high finish

Coming off a record-setting round at the Colonial Intercollegiate Tournament last week, GW golfer Thomas Blankvoort continued his success grabbing a second-place finish at the GW Invitational Monday at Swan Point Yacht and Country Club in Issue, Md. The team placed second, its highest finish of the season.

Blankvoort’s five-under par (67) in the second round at last week’s Colonial Intercollegiate hosted by the College of William and Mary, set the school record for most strokes below par in a single round. It was the lowest round by a Colonial since Jay Randolph’s 66 in1957. In the round, Blankvoort shot five birdies and 13 pars with no bogies. Led by Blankvoort, the Colonials second round was the best individual round in the tournament. GW finished 12th in the 18 team field.

Blankvoort, who has been the lowest Colonial in eight-straight tournaments, earned an Atlantic-10 Performer of the Week for his performance.

“Thomas continues to be arguably the best player in the Northeast,” head coach Scott Allen said.

In the GW Invite Monday and Tuesday, the senior shot a two-over par 146 (72-74) in the two-day event. The Colonials finished in second place among 16 teams, their best finish of the season, shooting a combined 614. Yale won the event with a low score of 602.

Yale University’s Chris Eckerle won the tournament, shooting a one-over par 145 (72-73).

Allen, who said his team’s play has improved throughout the first three weeks of the spring season, was happy with the second-place finish. Eckerle and Blankvoort battled back and forth in the second round after tying for the lead on the first day. Blankvoort fell three strokes behind after a triple bogey on the third hole but rallied to take the lead heading to the 17th hole. Eckerle then sank a 50-foot eagle on the 17th and followed it with a 30-foot birdie on the 18th to win by one stroke.

Sophomore Charles Taylor, who Allen said could become a consistent starter with the team, was the Colonials second lowest scorer at the GW Invite, shooting a 12-over 156 (77-79). Taylor finished tied for a career-high 18th place, his first top-20 finish.

Other Colonial scores include junior Michael Ball’s 158 (75-83) good for second place, and senior Bryan Derdenger’s 161 (89-72) who tied for 32nd. Derdenger’s 72 on Monday was his lowest round of the year.

“Bryan has been inconsistent but hopefully the 72 is a sign he is returning to the form he showed in his freshman and sophomore years when he was one of the best players in the northeast,” Allen said.

Tim Derdenger, who has struggled with injuries this year, also shot a season-low round to tie for 59th with a 173 (82-91).

The Colonials have five tournaments remaining this season, including the Atlantic-10 Championship on April 19-21.Their next tournament is the Navy Spring Invitational in Annapolis, Md. on April 6-7.

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