The Drexel men’s golf team participated in the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association men’s golf championships in Pinehurst, N.C. April 22-24. The Dragons struggled throughout the weekend and shot a team score of 969 strokes to finish in 10th place out of 11 teams.
University of North Carolina Wilmington won the tournament with an overall team score of 882. Led by senior Josh Brock, who led all golfers in shooting for the tournament with a score of 214, their 2011 championship was the first in school history.
As for Drexel, they were led in shooting by sophomore James Braunsberg, who recorded a total score of 238 during the three-day tournament. It marked the third consecutive tournament for Braunsberg in which he was the leading Drexel golfer. He finished in a tie for 36th place out of the 54 participating golfers. For Braunsberg, his strong finish to the season was a result of feeling gaining confidence in his talent.
“I started to feel more comfortable with my game, overall,” Braunsberg said. “My hitting is getting better, I’m starting to trust my putts more and had a couple of putts drop over the weekend.”
The CAA Championship tournament was the final competition for the Dragon golfers of the 2010-11 season. Braunsberg said it was important to finish the season strong to help the transition into next season.
“It’s a good confidence boost heading into summer, and hopefully I can continue my play and be 100 percent for the fall season,” he said.
In what was a disappointing season for the team, Braunsberg provided what head coach Mike Dynda labeled as “the highlight of the season” when he led after one round at the Navy Invitational during the weekend of April 16-17. While he had a strong finish, the team struggled through the end of the season’s schedule.
The CAA Championship tournament was the fourth consecutive tournament to end the season in which the Dragons finished in the bottom half of competing teams. For the year, Drexel earned two tournament first-place finishes, both Philadelphia area university tournaments, but they struggled most of the season. Heading into the offseason, Braunsberg is looking ahead to 2011-12 competition.
“I thought that we could have done a little better as a team, but we did what we played,” Braunsberg said. “We’ll just try and work better as a team and get ready for the fall.”
Dynda agreed, and described the season as a “disappointment” — though he believes there is something to be gained from the season’s experience, heading into next season.
“It was a learning experience, they gained valuable experience, it was a slight disappointment,” Dynda said.
Like Braunsberg, Dynda is looking forward to next season, and with great optimism. The Dragons will be returning their entire team next season, adding a few new recruits to the roster. Adding to the team will increase the outlook for the 2011-12 season, and increase the competitiveness of the team — something that Dynda is excited about.
“[I’m] pretty pumped up everyone’s returning,” Dynda said. “[It will be] a revamped Drexel Dragon golf team; you’re going to see a new golf team. [We have] three or four kids coming in, we’ll be deeper and with the increased competition, it will make the team to play harder.”
The Dragons look to open their golf season in September with an improved team ready to compete.