New Talent and Experience Help Golf Improve
The Oberlin men’s golf team started off its season in full swing at the two-day Kenyon Cup Invitational, held March 31 and April 1. Wittenberg University Tigers took the team title, scoring 629, and had the first place finisher. Juniors Saul Flores, Chris and Jon Pisani and first-years Matt Aucunas and Skyler Dum scored 725 and finished seventh out of nine teams. Most importantly, the squad improved upon last year’s performance.
The team played at Apple Valley Golf Club, located in Howard, Ohio. According to Golf Digest, the club is “absolutely one of Ohio’s finest courses.” The first hole, a par four dogleg left, opens to an expansive view of various fairways and several other holes. The par three fifth hole, which is surrounded by bunkers, barnstones and pines, is the favorite par three in central Ohio, according to the Mid Ohio Golfer. The eighth hole is probably the toughest of the course, as the fairway stretches between trees and a downhill slope.
The Yeomen faced some light precipitation and winds but mastered the course well. Aucunas was the Yeomen’s top finisher, tying for 20th place. He shot an 87 the first day and 81 the second. Chris Pisani finished 30th overall, while his brother Jon was just one place behind, finishing 31st. Rounding out the scoring for the Yeomen were Dum, who finished 33rd, and Floresm who finished in 34th. Another positive was that each player bettered his score from the previous day.
Chris Pisani, also a football standout, felt the invitational provided experience for the younger players and he is confident they will have a better showing in the next tournament. “I feel [that since] it was Skyler’s and Matt’s first tournament, they were very nervous, but going into the next one at Wooster they and all of us should be playing a lot better.”
The golf season is relatively short with the season wrapping up at the North Coast Atlantic Conference Championship the first weekend in May. With only a month and three more tournaments, the team hopes to focus on its technical game with the assistance of Head Coach Blake New.
Chris Pisani explained that the team needs to focus more on its close range game in the final four weeks. “We need to work on our short game and practice our putting. With improvements in those fields of the game we should all probably shave off five or six strokes.”
Because golf is such a technical sport, it takes a lot of practice to improve. However, the Yeomen continue to “work really hard in practice and you can see that everyone wants to get better,” Chris Pisani said.
Chris Pisani urged fans to look for the team to be consistently finishing in the top half of the tournaments over the next couple of weeks.
The Yeomen will compete next at the Nye Invitational hosted by the College of Wooster on April 13 and 14 and continue to prepare for the NCAC Championship.