Despite losing two senior leaders last season, the team is picking up where they left off with the addition of new players and a new plan. The team recruited two players this season, freshmen Liam Caspar and Sean Caspar.
Last 2018-2019 season, captain David Gall and Nicholas Alizzi, now alumni, led the team to win the Atlantic East Conference championship. They also claimed the Atlantic East Conference Men’s Golf Team Academic Award, reaching a 3.37 grade point average, the highest of all the league’s men’s golf teams.
The Cavaliers teed off this 2019-2020 season strong, achieving 5th place at the Frederick W. Anton III Memorial Tournament, Friday, Sept. 13. They posted a score of 306, with returning sophomore Gerald Haftmann winning ninth place.
The team won their second match by an impressive one stroke victory against Albright at the Ursinus Fall Invitational, with a team score of 321. Sophomore Jonathan Papp tied for sixth place with a 79.
“We all struggled, everyone thought we didn’t have a chance to win. I looked at the score card and I figured out we won by one and I went down and told all the guys They were shocked, because we knew we didn’t play as well as we wanted to. We talked on the bus ride home about a win being a win. That helps a lot with our confidence, being a young team,” Papp, marketing major, said
The team players share different approaches in preparing for the game. Last season’s rookie of the year with a career round of 74, Gerald Haftmann, likes to carefully research the course prior to playing to know what type of shot to take.
“I usually go on Google Earth. There is this feature where you can see the distance and feet between each of the holes ahead of time… so I just move my shot dispersion based on how big the fairways are,” Haftmann, majoring in business management, said.
This season, the team has the opportunity to practice in an updated facility. The new indoor golf training room boasts a wall-to-wall synthetic turf putting green. The room also possesses a SkyTrak golf simulator, which displays real-time 3D shot analysis and ball-flight data. It allows student-athletes to virtually play a range of courses from across the globe.
The team coach also plans to implement cardio and core exercise starting in the off season, specifically curated by her for team players.
“I used to be a certified personal trainer, so I adapted what I know that helps golfers. We’re working on putting together a program… it will [include] cardio, core and flexibility work, which are all some physical features that golfers need,” Tana Thomas, head coach of both men’s and women’s golf, said.
Thomas, who was also named the 2019 coach of the year, drives the importance of using short game to her team, which is using chipping and putting as they get closer to the green to minimize risk and get the most out of their game.
“Putting and chipping around the green saves me a lot of strokes,” Papp said.
The team played division II opponents Jefferson University and University of the Sciences at the ACE Club, finishing in second with a score of 321 last Monday.
The team is looking forward to their next match at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York, as they compete in the 36-hole Farmingdale State Invitational.