The Pomona-Pitzer men’s golf team teed off their spring season this past weekend at the SCIAC 1 tournament in Brookside, California. They were ranked sixth in the SCIAC standings going into their first weekend of play for 2017, but after two afternoons of outstanding golf, they finished tied for second with University of La Verne with 591 points overall, trailing first place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who ended with a score of 583.
The Sagehens upset with their second-place finish after putting out a much stronger performance than expected, even in a weekend of less-than-ideal weather for golfing. In their list of preseason favorites, SCIAC ranked P-P behind University of Redlands, California Lutheran University, University of La Verne, and Chapman University. The team ended up placing ahead of all of them apart from La Verne with a lead of at least 10 points.
Owen Rosebeck PO ’20 led the team with a fourth-place finish overall with two over par at 74 in the first round, but reducing his stroke count for one under at 71 in the second round for a total of 145 points for the weekend. He was closely followed by Gilbert Chang PO ’19, who had a first-round score of 74 and a second-round score of 75 to tie for fifth place.
Rosebeck wasn’t surprised with the team's successful outcome.
“As a team, we all knew we could compete at a high level with the rest of the league, and I think that showed this weekend,” he wrote in an email to TSL. “The team has a bunch of new talent with [five] new freshmen, and it felt great to prove ourselves in that way in a tournament setting; now we just have to perform in the same way for the rest of the season.”
Connor Rooney PO ’19 barely missed a spot in the top 10 when he tied for 11th place with scores of 73 followed by a 76 for a total of 149 for both days of play. He was trailed by Sam Sawyers PO ’20, who played a very consistent weekend with two back to back scores of 75 for an overall 150 and a tie for 13th place.
The Sagehen’s team was rounded off by David Song PO ’20, with a score of 84 on Saturday, which he shaved down to 76 on Sunday, earning him a score of 160 and a tie for 38th place. The final player in the P-P line-up was Jack Carrigan PZ ’20. He shot 86 on Saturday afternoon and followed up with 84 for Sunday afternoon’s round, finishing in 46th place with an overall score of 170.
Even in an individual sport like golf, the team dynamic helps push players to perform their best.
“Playing golf on a team, personally, gives me extra motivation to play hard and to not give up,” Rosebeck wrote. “The finish last weekend comes from the sense of team and from months of hard work in the preseason. When eleven other people are counting on your score it matters so much more than when you are just playing for yourself.”
When it comes to the team's goals for the upcoming season, Rosebeck said, “Our ultimate goal is to qualify for the national tournament. To do that we must either win the conference or be selected as a wildcard team. We have a few non-conference tournaments in the coming weeks which will give our guys some much needed experience in pressure situations. Anything can happen in the SCIAC tournaments, so we all need our games to stay sharp.”
The Sagehens will hit the green again next weekend for the Masters Spring Invite at Robinson Ranch, and they have ample time for prepare for SCIAC 2 in April.