This past Sunday, Fordham golf continued its season by finishing in ninth at the MacDonald Cup. The Rams played consistently through rainy weather, and it paid off in the form of an improvement over their last-place finish at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge the week before. The event was contested at the Yale Golf Course, a classic par 70 designed by Charles Blair MacDonald.
Senior Ben Alcorn paced the Fordham players by tying for 20th place. After opening with a 75, he crafted a strong 71 in the final round to wind up with a solid finish.
In a way, it is only fitting that Alcorn performed well, as he had some positive thoughts regarding both the layout of the event.
“It’s one of the top-ranked collegiate courses,” Alcorn said. “We’ve played well here in the past.”
Two other seniors, Drew Dufresne and Jeff Hogan, also shot decent scores in New Haven. Dufresne played consistently, starting off with a round of 74 and finishing with a 75. He wound up in a tie for 31st. Hogan, meanwhile, started off well with a 73, but he faded to a 77 in the final round.
The other Rams, freshman Matt Schiller and senior Brian Engstrom, finished in ties for 47th and 62nd, respectively.
For Hogan, it was a special tournament. His brother, Jay, plays for St. Edward’s, and it was the first time that the two ever went up against each other in collegiate golf.
“It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done as an athlete,” Hogan said of the experience. “It made my focus more intense knowing I was going up against him, and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. It’s one I’ll never forget.” Jay Hogan ultimately tied for 49th, falling short of his brother’s mark.In the end, experience seemed to be what propelled the Rams to a more successful finish.
“With four seniors on the team, it’s a course we’re all familiar with,” said Dufresne. “It’s about picking our spots and making sure we play smart.”
The Fordham squad had a positive takeaway from the week.
“I thought we had our best team performance of the year so far,” said Hogan. “We hung tough on Saturday with the weather being absolutely miserable and then had a great second round on Sunday.”
Yale, the host, won the cup. The Bulldogs played well on both days, but they had to fight off a final round charge by the Harvard Crimson. Yale wound up winning by a single stroke over their archrivals.
Eric Mitchell of Princeton was the medalist. He opened with a solid 70 and closed with a superb 68; both scores ranked among the best of the tournament. Mitchell held off a group of eight runners-up, most of them representatives of schools in the Ivy League.
With the MacDonald Cup behind them, the Rams now turn their attention to Pennsylvania, where they will be finishing up their season. This week, they head to the Temple Invitational. After that, they will be it teeing up at the Lehigh Invitational for the last tournament of the calendar year.
Sam Belden is a Staff Writer for The Fordham Ram.