The GW golf team had a rough weekend in Harrisburg, Va., finishing in last place at the 18-team James Madison Invitational Saturday and Sunday. The Colonials finished with a total score of 891 for the tournament, 71 shots behind first-place Penn State University. Despite shooting under 300 as a team in all three rounds, they were unable to match the low scores posted by other schools at the par-71 Lake View Golf Course.
Freshman Brian Carroll led the team in his first collegiate tournament, posting scores of 72 and 76 in Saturday’s rounds and finishing strong with a 71 on Sunday. His 219 total tied him for 35th place out of 90 golfers.
Fellow freshman Federico Guzman also played well for the second straight tournament. He posted scores of 76, 73, and 72, finishing with a 221 and a tie for 52nd place. Guzman was also impressive at the Navy Open Sept. 7-8, finishing tied for 23rd with a 148.
While struggling against a Big Ten school like Penn State is to be expected, GW head coach Scott Allen said he was disappointed and surprised to finish well behind Atlantic 10 foe St. Joseph’s. The Philadelphia school finished in seventh place with a three-round total of 864, 27 shots ahead of GW.
“It’s hard to understand how we can beat them comfortably two weeks ago and then lose to them by a good margin this weekend,” Allen said referring to GW’s performance at the Navy Invitational.
Senior co-captain Brad Freidlander echoed Allen’s sentiments. “I was surprised that we finished so far back because our scores were better this year than last year at the same golf course,” he said. “And we finished right in the middle of the pack (last year).”
Indeed, GW did post lower scores this year, but the Colonials still finished only 16th out of 20 teams in last year’s tournament. While the competition at James Madison is undoubtedly among the toughest the Colonials will face all year, another problem, oddly enough, was that the course is extremely easy.
“I don’t have a lot of guys who are used to taking (their scores) low,” Allen said. “I have a lot of guys who can shoot 72 no matter how difficult the course, but when people get it way under par, my guys don’t seem to be as comfortable in that position.”
GW will host their next tournament on Monday, the 36-hole Rehoboth Beach Fall Invitational at the Kings Cross C.C. in Rehoboth Beach, Del. All 10 GW golfers will play, forming a first and a second team, only the first of which will count in the standings.
With a tougher course and a weaker field, Allen said he is confident the first team can win. “It would be nice to bring home some hardware,” he said, “and get some confidence back.”