Drexel men’s golf wrapped up its 2011 fall season this past week by competing in the second annual ODU/OBX Invitational Oct. 23-25, taking 18thplace with a score of 962. The event took place at Kilmarlic Golf Course in Powells Point, N.C.
The tournament consisted of 18 schools in total. The men competed against local rival St. Joseph’s University, in addition to Colonial Athletic Association rivals George Mason University, the University of Delaware and the hosting Old Dominion University. The University of Georgia clinched first place with a final score of 834.
Each day began at 8:30 a.m. on both the first and 10th holes. At the invitational last year, East Carolina swept first place and surpassed Richmond by 23 strokes. It was a close call for Drexel as they finished just one stroke short of their Philadelphia rival, SJU. Andrew Lawson, a junior last year, proved to be one of the strongest competitors as he led the team in the first and third rounds. Head coach Mike Dynda traveled with five of the golfers participating in this year’s tournament — Mike Serensits, Billy Reube, Benjamin Feld, James Parsons and Vincent Anagnos.
Feld proved to stand out this past weekend among the 90 other golfers in the tournament. He tied for 40thplace with an individual score of 223. Serensits placed 80th with a score of 245, followed by Anagnos, Reuben and then Parsons.
Compared to last year’s statistics, Drexel has made some key improvements this fall season. After wrapping up, Dynda stated that this fall was great to add to the team’s overall experience on the green.
“Essentially, the fall season is a big qualifier for the championships held in the spring,” Dynda said. “Ben Feld averaged a 73.8, and he is on his way to becoming an Academic All-American.”
The men kicked off their season at the Leo Keenan Invitational in Olean, N.Y. during the first weekend of the fall academic term. They finished fourth out of the other 11 competing schools with a total of 592. This was a solid improvement from last year’s sixth-place standing among 12 other schools. Freshman Andrew Feldman proved to be a dominant force on the team after he earned his tie for second place after day one of competition.
The team got back on the road the weekend after to compete at the Hartford Hawks Invitational in South Kent, Conn. Their standing this year slipped a spot down from last year’s record, placing 12thout of the 17 teams that competed. However, Feld placed in the top 10 overall individually out of almost 90 golfers that participated. Feld and the rest of his teammates were ready to get back into focus and hope for better results the following weekend.
One of the biggest competitions of the year for all Philadelphia schools, the Big 5 Invitational, came next in the Dragons’ fall schedule. The event took place at Plymouth Country Club in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., where the team finished 19th out of the 22 competing schools. They ended with a combined score of 624, where Feld proved his unquestionable talent as the highest-ranked Dragon. He placed 48th overall with a score of 154.
The Dragons reached an unfortunate plateau as they finished in last place out of five teams at The Ace Club for the Philadelphia University Classic. While Goldey-Beacom College took first place with a score of 300, Drexel fell short with a score of 314. Yet sophomore Ben Hinge was able to lead the team with a score of 77 and tied for seventh place overall. This was an unfortunate disappointment for the Dragons compared to their first place finish during last year’s competition.
Yet the team has shown individual strides of improvement within their physique and personal skills over the past few months. With the help of coach Michael Rankin, director of strength and conditioning here at Drexel, the athletes have matured both physically and mentally throughout these tournaments.
“Ben Feld improved his scoring average from last fall, and everyone on the team improved their physiques with the help of coach Rankin,” Dynda said.
The men have had some ups and downs throughout this fall season, but they are prepared to get back on the green in the spring after a much-needed break from competition. Dynda and his team will be training throughout the winter to get ready for the start of competition in spring 2012.
“We are going to work a lot on putting, shore game and even more so on the mental side of the game,” Dynda said.