Golf Nabs Season-Best Finish in Rhode Island

Tomas+Nieves+scored+a+222%2C++on+the+toruney%2C+placing+him+in+a+tie+for+12th.
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Golf Nabs Season-Best Finish in Rhode Island

Tomas Nieves scored a 222,  on the toruney, placing him in a tie for 12th.

Tomas Nieves scored a 222, on the toruney, placing him in a tie for 12th.

Tomas Nieves scored a 222, on the toruney, placing him in a tie for 12th.

Tomas Nieves scored a 222, on the toruney, placing him in a tie for 12th.

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By Sam Belden

Tomas Nieves scored a 222, on the toruney, placing him in a tie for 12th. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

The Fordham golf team played its final two events of the regular season last week, gaining some important momentum along the way. With a tie for seventh at the Yale Spring Invitational and an impressive third-place finish at the Rhode Island Invitational, this is a squad that could make some noise at the Atlantic 10 Championship this week.

The Yale event featured two rounds in one marathon day of action. Junior Matt Schiller was the top finisher for the Rams, carding scores of 76 and 72 for a tie for 16th. The remaining Fordham players were all close behind — sophomore Tommy Hayes tied for 19th, junior James Mongey tied for 24th, junior Joseph Trim tied for 30th and freshman Tomas Nieves tied for 36th. Senior Oscar Cabanas brought up the rear for the Rams, finishing in a tie for 46th out of 71 players.

On the heels of that middling finish, Fordham headed to Rhode Island’s Quidnessett Country Club for its final regular season outing of the year. There, they were much improved, posting rounds of 296, 297 and 294 to finish third out of the 14 teams.

This time, it was Trim who led the way for Fordham. The Tampa native shot an outstanding 70 in the opening round and managed to keep his foot on the gas pedal, winding up in a tie for fourth. Nieves, playing this course for the first time, was also impressive, shooting three straight 74s to tie for 12th, a career-best finish.

Two other Rams, Mongey and Schiller, also found the top 20 — the former ended up alone in 19th place, while the latter was one stroke back in a tie for 20th. Cabanas was further behind, but he, too, showed improvement, tying for 38th place.

It was Fordham’s best performance of the spring, but the tournament hosts still managed to run away with the event. Anchored by studs Billy Walthouse and Dawson Jones, Rhode Island posted a three-round total of 876, eight strokes better than Bryant, the runner-up.

However, Bryant did produce the medalist: Ryan Tombs. The freshman shot 72 or better in every round and was unshakeable down the stretch, so he looks like a player to watch in future seasons.

While the Rams would love to dwell on their productive performance in the Ocean State, they are now fully focused on A-10s. The three-day event will commence this Friday at Orlando’s Grand Cypress Golf Club, and several imposing programs, including VCU and Dayton, will be in attendance.

Still, the Rams have reason to feel confident about this week — they finished fifth at last year’s conference championship, and they seem to be playing even better this year.

“We kinda go in with blind expectations, which I think helped us a lot last year. In stroke play, you can fall into the trap of playing against the other players instead of just playing the course, which is what stroke play is,” said Trim. “We can’t control what VCU does, we can’t control what Dayton does, so it can be a little intimidating. But on the other side, it’s only intimidating to a certain extent.”

One thing is certain: for a team hungry for success, this event could make or break the season. The action gets underway on Friday morning.