A two-week hiatus for the Fordham golf team did not reap any benefits, as the Rams placed 14th out of 14 teams at the Lehigh Invitational at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.
The Rams clocked in at +72 for the two-day event, shooting (322–326 – 648), seven shots behind 13th-place Hofstra, and 56 shots back of the first-place Holy Cross Crusaders. Last time out at Yale, it was the depth scoring that needed to improve, as there were two players under 225 for the three-round event, and the rest could not put together three good rounds. This time out at Lehigh, everyone needed to shoot a better score.
The best score for the Rams came from freshman Peter O’Rourke (79–80 – 159) who placed 48th out of 75 golfers. There were only three rounds shot in the 70s by Fordham players, as the rest were in the 80s, and junior Anthony Wells placed dead last (89–88 – 177).
Early in the season, there were some silver linings in the tough finishes for the Rams: Whether it was improving on last year’s performance at CCSU’s Ryan Lee Memorial or shooting two rounds below 300 at the Quechee Invitational at Dartmouth, there was always a positive to take away. This week, positives are harder to come by. Sophomore Chan Park set a season-high with four birdies, while O’Rourke had the second most pars at the tournament with 23. However, these two marks alone are not enough to justify the poor finish.
Going into the two-week break, it was imperative for the squad to come out rested and ready for its last two events of the season, but that did not happen. The rustiness of the two weeks off showed poor performances across the board. The rust cannot be an excuse this week, however, as the team will turn right around and play a two-day event on Sunday and Monday at Montclair Golf Club in West Orange, N.J., the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Championship hosted by Wagner College.
This is the last event on the fall calendar for the Rams, so it will also serve as the event they will have at the front of their minds for the entire off-season headed into the spring half of their schedule. The spring half is more important, as it ends with the Atlantic 10 tournament. As it is Fordham’s biggest event, it will want to be at its peak that week. While the Rams still have a long time to go, they do not want the season to slip away before they get there.
This means that next week at Wagner will be a big tournament. If the Rams can enter the winter with confidence that they can hang with the top A-10 opponents, there will be a motivation all winter and spring long to fine-tune their games to get to that point. If they provide another showing as they did at Lehigh, there will be an immense sense of hopelessness in the Ram locker room, with a big spring ahead, and a poor fall behind.