For most students, walking across Springdale Golf Course is an infrequent occurrence, a gateway to the wonders of Thursday dinner at the Graduate College. However, for members of the Princeton men’s and women’s golf teams, walking along fairways and greens is a regular activity. During the fall and spring, the teams prepare for regular tournaments against teams from the Ivy League and beyond.
This past weekend, at the Penn State Nittany Lion Invitational, the women were led by junior Kelly Shon’s 1-under 215, which placed her in a tie for second among individuals. As a team, the Tigers finished sixth in the field of 17, notching a three-round score of 900, 36 shots over par. After Princeton had a turbulent season last year, Shon’s consistent play this year has helped to anchor the squad. Through six rounds this year, she is averaging an even-par 72 and looks to be one of the best golfers in the Ivy League.
Penn State marked Princeton’s second fall tournament of the young season. At the Yale Intercollegiate on Sept. 21-23, Princeton finished eighth in a field of 16, with a cumulative score of plus-55. Shon tallied a three-round total of plus-1, the best score among all 36 Ivy League golfers, rendering her fourth overall.
Shon, who has participated in several major national tournaments, has been complemented by some valuable new players, with freshmen Alexandra Wong and Sydney Kersten contributing early with strong play in the season’s two opening tournaments. The team will try to continue its upward trajectory through the rest of the fall season.
Earlier this year, the men’s team opened its fall season at the McLaughlin Invitational at Bethpage Red on Long Island over the weekend of Sept. 15-16. Led by second-team All-Ivy junior Greg Jarmas and freshman Quinn Prchal, who each shot a plus-5 215 over the course of the three-round tournament, the team finished seventh of 16 with a cumulative score of plus-26. The Tigers finished four strokes behind Ivy League foe Dartmouth, defeating Harvard and Columbia.
For a team that lost four seniors from last year’s squad, which ranked fifth in the Ivy League, this fall’s performance was a step in the right direction.
“The team has a different atmosphere this year,” sophomore Jason Zhou said. The lone senior on the team, Bernie D’Amato, has stepped into a leadership role in an effort to stabilize the turnover from last year. “Bernie is definitely leading the team, always helping out and organizing team events,” Zhou said.
In addition to the solid play of team veterans, Prchal has “hit the ground running and is playing great,” Zhou said. He and fellow rookie Matt Gerber will look to acclimate themselves to the college game over the remainder of the fall season in gearing up for the coming spring.
The men will be back in action this weekend for the three-day Brickyard Collegiate in Macon, Ga., while the women will have a few weeks off before they take to the greens at the Lehigh Invitational on Oct. 20-21.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/10/02/31341/