The No.10 ranked golf team finished in sixth place this week at the Emory Spring Invitational. The Eagles went into the second round of play in second place, but a second round team score of 303 (+14) dropped the team to sixth place. The result comes one year after Emory won the event in 2011.
“We are just looking to go out there and win the [Emory] Spring Invitational again this year,” sophomore Johnathan Chen said in an interview with the Wheel on Monday. “The weather is great, and the course plays great, so if we can all play well, I am confident that we can win this tournament again.”
The event was loaded with top-ten teams from around the region. No. 1 ranked Guilford College (N.C.), No. 3 ranked Methodist College (N.C.), N0.6 ranked Oglethorpe College No. 8 ranked Transylvania University (K.Y.) and No. 10 ranked Christopher Newport University (Va.) all participated in the tournament.
“The better the teams the better the competition,” Chen said. “Playing against other top-ranked teams doesn’t affect your individual mindsets when you are playing. If anything, it makes us feel better in the end to know that we beat top-ranked competition.”
Emory got off to a quick start in the first round of play. Senior Ryan Dagerman led the team in scoring with a 71 (-1). Chen and freshman Alex Wunderlich followed Dagerman with a 73(+1) each. Seniors David Collura rounded out the scoring with scores of 78(+6) and 84 (+12) respectively. The team’s overall score of 296 (+7) was good enough for second place in the standings, just three strokes behind senior Eric Quinn and the Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels’ score of 292 (+4).
“After the first day we were in good position to win,” Chen said, “We wanted to win our own tournament. Our goal was to go out on the second day and get after it, unfortunately it did not work out the way we wanted it to.”
The Eagles did not display the same consistency on the second day of play.
Wunderlich led the team on Tuesday with a 72 (even). Dagerman and Szem followed right behind him with scores of 75 (+3) and 77 (+5) respectively. Chen and Collura rounded out the team’s scoring. Chen posted an 81 (+9) and Collura posted a 79 (+7).
“Luckily wunderlich played well and dagerman continued his usual consistency,” Chen said. “It wasn’t enough for us to win. The rest of us did not perform the way we would have liked. But, we are going to now look forward to our alumni event this weekend to try to get some good work in.”
The Eagles finished with a combined score of 303. Overall, the team posted a combined 598 over the course of the tournament.
This was good enough for sixth overall in the tournament. Methodist took home the tournament title with a score of 582. Oglethorpe (589) and Transylvania (589) rounded out the top three.
Wunderlich posted the best combined score of any Emory player in the tournament. Wunderlich’s 145 (+1) put him at fifth overall in the 96-player field. Wunderlich was named to the Emory Spring Invitational all-tournament team.
Emory also had four players compete in the tournament as individuals. Junior Thomas Mally posted a score of 150 on the tournament, while senior Michael Mullavey and freshman Will Roth both posted scores of 155. Freshman Aaron Weiner rounded out the scoring with a 179.
“It has been an up and down year for me,” Wunderlich said on Monday. “In the fall, I changed up my swing, so I struggled during that adjustment. In the spring, I have gotten a lot more comfortable with my swing.”
The Eagles will return to action on May 15 at the NCAA Division III Championships. The event will be hosted at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howie-in-the-Hills, Florida.
— Contact Nathaniel Ludewig