Spring sports have arrived, signaling the beginning of the second half of the season for our golfers. With the addition of some key freshmen, including Viraj Garewal ‘22 and Clayton Tribus ‘22, and the continued success coming from the upperclassmen, the ‘Cats have been very successful so far this spring.
The biggest takeaways from the season thus far have been the gradual improvement from the freshman and the team’s overall performance. The team took the first two tournaments of the season (Wexford Invitational and Fort Lauderdale Intercollegiate) to get back in the groove of tournament play. Tribus said, “We didn’t play great at either tournament, but a lot of the guys felt like their game was close to being really good.”
The team finished fifth of nineteen and sixth of twelve in each tournament respectively; however, the scores from each player improved from the week before, and improved once again a week later in Pinehurst.
Two weekends ago, the Cats competed at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate, where both as a member of the team and as an individual Tribus took home first place. With fourteen teams competing in the tournament, the Cats finished +7 with the next best team putting up a score of +36. Although there were many key contributions from sophomore Alex Ross ‘21 and seniors Hoke Carlton ‘19 and Jack Lang ‘19, the star of the weekend was undoubtedly Tribus, who won his first ever college tournament. Tribus (67, 72, 71) finished with a combined score of 210 (-3), outdueling a plethora of older and more experienced players on Pinehurst no. 8, one of the hardest courses the team will play all season.
Tribus focused on how important to him the team’s success was: “I was just trying to help my team as best as I could, we are trying to earn an at-large bid to the NCAAs so we need some strong finishes as a team to make that possible.” Tribus commented, “Winning was very gratifying and definitely wasn’t something I predicted happening as a freshman, but it’s something to build off of for the rest of the season.”
Tribus has shown a tremendous start and is now looking to be a staple for the men’s team for years to come. When asked about the process of the season and how being a freshman has affected his patience and growth as a college golfer, Tribus said: “In Fort Lauderdale, I got a bit better every day. I could tell my game was starting to get really sharp, and it all came together the week after at Pinehurst.”
Just this past weekend, the team finished second at the Furman Invitational, which hosted over twenty teams from different conferences across the country. The team finished -3 overall, posting a total combined score of 849. Carlton (71, 69, 68) and Lang (71, 71, 69) finished 3rd and 5th respectfully on the individual side of things. Ross (69, 71, 79) and the two aforementioned freshmen also posted solid scores throughout the weekend, contributing to the ‘Cats’ success over the weekend.
This was the biggest tournament the team has been apart of thus far in the spring, so posting a second place finish is big accomplishment for the ‘Cats, proving they can compete with teams outside of the conference. After winning the A-10 a year ago, the ‘Cats look primed to repeat and take first once again. If the freshmen remain consistent, and the upperclassmen continue to stay focused, the team may compete in regionals once again after taking home the A-10 conference crown.