Golf wrapped up its fall slate of tournaments with two third-place finishes, stringing together its highest tournament program ranking since the 2018-19 season.
The Colonials finished the Grandover Collegiate in Greensboro in seventh place, marking their fifth consecutive top 10 ranking this fall season. The program, which only has three returning players, has taken advantage of the newly recruited talent and experienced players to bolster their performance in pursuit of the Atlantic 10 crown.
Head Coach Chuck Scheinost said the program’s freshmen have played an integral role in increasing the team’s standing to place within the top four with their great understanding of the game. Rodrigo Barahona, Jed Dy and Manuel Barbachano make up the team’s freshman starting lineup, bringing renewed vigor and professional experience at the PGA level to the team.
“This year’s group of freshmen is a special group,” Scheinost said in an interview in September. “Our seniors are really hungry, and that helps because they’ve done a great job of helping bring the younger guys in and start to teach them things.”
Four out of the seven athletes are freshmen, with three freshmen manning a five-person starting lineup. Just two of last year’s starters, seniors Jakub Hrinda and Hugo Ribound, are returning this year to lead the team.
Hrinda notched his first collegiate victory at the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational last weekend with a 14-under-par 199. As a team, GW finished fourth in the 16-team field, earning its third top-four finish of the season.
Last year’s season ended in a tie for fourth at the A-10 Championship after failing to place in the top 10 teams in any tournament in the 2022 spring season. With the addition of three new freshman golfers to the top five, the team has a new look and has found new success.
The schedule for the second half of the season during the spring has yet to be finalized, but will likely feature five tournaments and culminate with the A-10 Championship at the end of April.
The Colonials kicked off their season at the Virginia Commonwealth University Shootout on Sept. 12, posting a program record of 829 and clinching its highest ranking in a tournament since the 2018-19 season. In that same tournament, Hrinda fired a 202 and set a new individual par record for GW.
Hrinda continued his impressive streak at the VCU shootout where he led the way at the first-ever Howard/San Francisco Intercollegiate, finishing just five strokes over par and placing sixth overall individually. The Colonials played the 54-hole swing at the TPC Potomac, a stop on the PGA tour and likely the most challenging course of the season’s first half.
“We practice pretty much everyday except for Wednesday in some form,” Hrinda said. “I think the heart of it is that we’re very focused because we don’t have as much time as we would like and so we put a lot of intensity into that time.”
At the Howard and San Francisco Intercollegiate on Sept. 26, the Colonials placed third out of the nine teams competing, firing a 40 over 880. The team then headed to the Phoenix Invitational on Oct. 10 where the squad shot a two under 850 to tie for seventh overall among 17 teams competing.
Ribound led the way with a three under 210, placing him in 18th individually out of 40. Barahona was named A-10 Rookie Golfer of the Week for his own three under performance – which is a par that is mostly seen at the professional level – at the Phoenix Invitational, before the Colonials headed to the Stockton Pacific Invitational in California.
Hrinda fired an incredible 14-under 199 in California, enough to secure the top individual spot at the tournament. This performance broke the 18-36-54 hole program records after he set the 36- and 54-hole records himself earlier this season.
The nine-under 62 came in the second round and boosted Hrinda to his second top-two finish of the year. The team placed tied for fourth with an overall 13 under performance.
“This year’s group, the A-10 Championship is our ultimate goal at the end of the day,” Schenoist said. “But winning is a byproduct of going through the process and working hard.”