Golf gets fourth in Navy Invitational

For the GW golf team, there never seems to be a letdown. In the Navy Invitational, the freshmen were the key in a fourth-place finish.

Freshman Lewis Sturdy carded a one-under-par 70 Saturday. His performance tied him for third in a field of 84 golfers at the Naval Academy Golf Course in Annapolis, Md. Sturdy’s classmate Juan Pablo Zuluaga carded a 148 with rounds of 69 and 79 to finish tied for 17th place.

Coach Scott Allen said he is happy with the performance of his freshmen.

“It’s very promising for the future,” Allen said in a phone interview Sunday. “We’ve relied a lot on Brian Carroll. We have almost the same five guys. In the spring we struggled for four and five guys to travel with, so it’s been good to see freshmen step up.”

Navy won the tournament with 582, followed by Rider University and Loyola College, Md. GW finished eight strokes out of first place and three strokes in front of fifth-place finisher University of Pennsylvania.

Dan Mirabella carded back-to-back rounds of 73 en route to a 12th-place finish, while junior Bob Rohr finished with a 151.

Senior standout Brian Carroll finished tied for 35th place with rounds of 76 and 75, an uncharacteristic finish for the team’s best player.

“He putted horribly this weekend,” Allen said. “I’ve never seen someone with so many four and five-foot putts for birdie and miss.”

The team is having one of its best seasons in more than a half-century, but Allen said he doesn’t feel the team’s spring has been as successful as the fall.

“We are right in the mix for our first NCAA bid in 60 years,” Allen said. “We are optimistic.”

The squad returns to the links April 22 at State College, Pa., in the Rutherford Intercollegiate, the last tournament before the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Orlando, Fla. Allen said the tournament at Pennsylvania State could make or break the season by notching wins over competitors for an at-large bid to the NCAA.

The Colonials could lock up a berth in the NCAA Tournament by winning the A-10 Tournament, which Allen said he thinks is realistic.

“I think we have a chance,” Allen said. “Charlotte and Xavier are both in the top-30. They are the favorites on paper; but we have to bring our ‘A’ game.”

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