The Drexel University golf team concluded its 2014-15 season with a seventh-place finish in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship April 24-26.
The Championship was held at St. James Plantation, where nine teams competed for the title. The College of Charleston was able to defend its 2014 title and finished in first for the second straight season. The Cougars shot just nine over par, which was 20 strokes better than second place finisher, The College of William & Mary.
At seventh place, Drexel shot a total score of 903 over the three-day competition.
Leading the charge for the Dragons was junior Chris Crawford, who shot just four over par and tied for fifth among all golfers. Crawford was named to the CAA All-Tournament team.
On the first day of competition Crawford looked dominant for the first nine holes. He bogeyed just once and knocked in par on the other eight. A slightly wild back nine got him in a little trouble, and he finished the first round five over par at 77.
The second day of competition was perhaps Crawford’s most dominant round of golf this season. The junior sunk four birdies and an eagle in the 18 holes, to counterbalance four bogeys, resulting in a two-under-par round of 70 that put him right in the thick of the competition heading into the final day.
On the second day, he wasn’t able to close the gap between the top ranks and his card after a hot start. He buried a pair of birdies on the first two holes of the final round before hitting par until the 14th hole. He finished the tournament with three bogeys on the final holes, carding a one-over-par 73 on the day.
Crawford’s unfortunate end to third round, however, didn’t cloud what was an otherwise dazzling regular season. Head coach Mike Dynda has called him an “on course coach” because of his ability to make the right decisions during a match, and as he heads into his senior season in the fall, Crawford will be focused on one thing — making his final CAA Championships count come this time next season.
Elsewhere, freshman Avery Schneider had one of his best outings of the season. The young gun earned a top-16 finish, shooting six over par on the first day, two over par on day two, and just one over par on the third day of competition.
Schneider’s performance was incredibly impressive, not only because he is just a freshman, but also because of the steady improvement he saw over the course of the weekend. He carded the same one-over-par 73 as Crawford on the final day of the Championship. This is a trait we have seen from Schneider this year, his ability to learn from his experiences and get better, and something Dynda will likely look for Schneider to make use of next fall.
Yoseph Dance, Adam Mistretta and Brian Fischer each had themselves impressive tournaments as well. Dance finished in the top-25, shooting 13 over par. Mistretta found himself in the top-30 after firing 16 over par. Fischer shot 19 over par during the three-day tournament, which was good enough to give him a top-37 finish.
While the seventh-place finish wasn’t representative of what Dynda and his golfers were hoping to get out of the Championships, this season was an encouraging step forward for a youthful group.
Dance and Fischer are both sophomores. Mistretta and Schneider are freshman. The team’s leader, Crawford, still has one season left.
These young golfers are only going to get better with time. With a coach like Mike Dynda who embraces their development, this team is going to be a force in future matches and tournaments. With this team, the emphasis is all on the future.