The Fordham golf team traveled to Yale University over Family Weekend to participate in the MacDonald Invitational. The Rams placed 11th out of 12 participating teams, posting a total of 73-over par for the three rounds and finishing 83 shots back of the winners, the University of Minnesota. The Golden Gophers rolled this weekend, with a comfortable 24-shot cushion over the second-place Princeton University Tigers.
The low scorer at the MacDonald for the Rams was freshman Peter O’Rourke (72–72–74 –218, +8). O’Rourke’s play was extremely impressive, and if not for a few blow-up holes, he could have posted an even lower score. A double bogey in round one, a triple to end round two, and a four-hole stretch with three bogeys on the front nine in round three brought him to the eight-over mark. The 218 placed him in a tie for 17th in the individual rankings, 14 shots behind individual champion Angus Flanagan from Minnesota.
In order to see better team results, the Rams’ depth needs to score much better. Outside of O’Rourke and fellow freshman Nicholas Manning, who placed T37 with a 224, the remaining three players each shot a round in the 80s at one point this weekend. Compare that to Minnesota, who did not have a single round over 76 all weekend from their five players, while Fordham had eight. Eliminating the big numbers and having players in the fourth and fifth spots scoring well will propel the Rams forward into Atlantic 10 competition. One thing that will help that is the continuing development of sophomore Chan Park, who did not play this week, and is officially listed as having withdrawn from the tournament.
The Rams now have time to regroup, as they have the next two weeks off from competition, returning to action at Lehigh University Oct. 18 and 19. These two weeks will be key to the development of the depth players on the squad, allowing them time to work on their games and cleaning up what has gone wrong early in the season and also get some much-needed rest after playing three weeks in a row. After Lehigh, they will play their last fall event of the season when they play in the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Championship, hosted by Wagner College.
The goal for the Rams fall season is to continue to improve. They did that last week despite their last place finish, shooting the only two sub-300 rounds of the season. This week, they can only claim minimal improvement. Yes, they did not come in last at Yale as they did last season, 14th out of 14 in 2018, but their scores got worse from last week. They posted 300–303–310 for the MacDonald, which is disappointing especially considering all of the high individual scores that pushed them above the 300-shot threshold. Without those scores in the high 70s and 80s, they would have been back under that threshold, competing for a higher finish.
With the fall season coming to a close, the Rams look to improve. They are not going to compete with teams like Minnesota and Princeton this season, but it is conceivable for them to compete in the Atlantic 10 this spring.