VICTOR TAYLOR ‘24 (HE/HIM), SPORTS WRITER

Davidson men’s golf, fresh off an A-10 championship and strong showing at the Tallahasee NCAA Regional last season, has dealt with the departure of veteran Alex Ross ‘21 well into what appears to be another strong season for the ‘Cats. The fall season went exceedingly well for the Wildcats, as they took home first place in the Grandover Collegiate Invitational in Greensboro, as well as finishing tied for 3rd behind UNC Charlotte and Marshall at their home tournament at River Run Country Club. This performance proved to linger in the minds of the Atlantic 10 head coaches, who voted the Wildcats as preseason favorites, receiving 10 of a possible 11 preseason first place votes, with the sole other vote going to rivals VCU. 

The spring season has had more ups and downs than the fall, with tough fields proving for more middle of the road finishes in the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate and the Seahawk Collegiate. However, as the season went on, Davidson has rounded into form, with top 5 finishes at the Forest Creek Collegiate and their own home event for the spring in the Irish Creek Collegiate. Even though, in Mobile, the team faced three squads in the top 50, as well as the hosts of last year’s regional Florida State, the ‘Cats still held their own, with Viraj Garewal ’22 leading the team with a T18 finish, complete with a 70 on the last day of the tournament. In Wilmington, Alex Heffner ’24 shined, with a final day 68 proving to be his best round of the spring so far and putting him in a tie for 3rd place among all golfers on a weekend where the ‘Cats couldn’t all find their form. 

Even in their best performances, the team has gotten big contributions from many different athletes. At Forest Creek, it was Garewal and Brian Garrett ’23 who both finished inside the top 10 individual golfers, with Garewal posting his career low of 68 on the second day of the invitational. In the final home event of the regular season, Clayton Tribus ’22 was the one who fired a career low 66 to lead the team and finish fourth individually in the event that included two Top-25 teams. The ‘Cats have even gotten contributions from their freshmen, as Will Davis ’25 has had multiple strong showings and been inserted into the starting lineup on multiple occasions for a veteran team. 

Both of the Wildcats best showings included many an A-10 foe amongst the opposing field, with the ‘Cats seeing Richmond, VCU, and Dayton twice and George Mason and George Washington once. Davidson finished ahead of every squad with the exception of VCU on one occasion by a single stroke, proving their predicted strength at the top of the conference. 

The Wildcats will conclude regular season action at the Stitch Intercollegiate at Mcgregor Downs Coutnry Club in Cary, North Carolina and take a three week break until the weekend of April 29th, where the team will travel to Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida to compete in the Atlantic 10 Championship, where they tasted success last year. If all goes to plan and the Wildcats perform to expectations, the team will have a real shot at being an NCAA Tournament participant for the second year in a row.